“For our own good, we want as wide of a talent pool as we can get,” Secretary Steven Chu said in his remarks to employees. “[Diversity] is a good thing and an important thing to do. It’s also the right thing to do.”
Researchers at the Energy Department's Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have engineered the first strains of the bacteria to digest switchgrass biomass and synthesize its sugars into all three types of transportation fuels -- gasoline, diesel and jet fuels.
Today Secretary Chu announced $12 million in funding for 22 regional teams competing in the Energy Department’s Rooftop Solar Challenge. The teams will implement step-by-step actions throughout the next year to standardize permit processes, update planning and zoning codes, improve standards for connecting solar power to the electric grid, and increase access to financing. "Through this competition, the Energy Department is helping to unleash America’s solar potential by investing in projects that will make it faster, easier, and cheaper to finance and deploy solar power in communities across the country."
This past weekend, the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity launched from Cape Canaveral with the most advanced payload of scientific gear ever used on the red planet -- made possible by nuclear space power systems developed by the Energy Department.
The 32-megawatt Long Island Solar Farm Project will produce enough energy to power up to 4,500 homes. The 164,312 solar panels hosted at the Lab in New York State constitute one of the largest solar farms built on federal property in the nation.