Solar Energy Research Center Breaks Ground
The Solar Energy Research Center breaks ground at Lawrence Berkeley Lab, where researchers are working on a project to convert sunlight into transportation fuel. Using fundamental and applied research, they hope to ultimately set the stage for a direct solar fuels industry.
"Finding a cost-effective way to produce fuels as plants do -combining sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide - would be a game changer, reducing our dependence on oil and enhancing energy security," Daniel Poneman, Deputy Secretary of Energy, told SustainableBusiness.com.
SEE OTHER TOP STORIES IN THE ENERGY DIGITAL CONTENT NETWORK
The 40,000 square-foot, LEED certified facility will cost the Department of Energy (DOE) an upwards of $54 million, and is set to be ready in late 2014. In 2010, the DOE announced that it would dedicate $122 million over five years to establish a "Fuels from Sunlight Energy Innovation Hub."
The Lab also plans to build a bigger building in Richmond, California for a 2-million-square-foot facility that will house over 800 scientists involved in areas like bioscience, cancer and bioenergy.