California Awards Nearly $1.2 Billion To Clean Energy Research

California may have lost the rank of #1 in solar energy to upstart New Jersey, but that doesn’t mean the Golden State isn’t still a leader in the clean energy economy. Just yesterday, the California Energy Commission awarded $1,154,230 in grants to 10 innovative projects from the Commission’s Public Interest Research Project (PIER) program.

The grants, all of which were above $90,000, will help small businesses, non-profits, individuals, and academic institutions conduct research that establishes the feasibility of new, innovative energy concepts. The winning projects ranged from microscopic to massive scale, but all have the potential to profoundly change the way we consume energy in America.

Taking the biggest grant, $300,000, was the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego. Scripps is currently working to better understand differences in regional climate model projections for California and how it impacts hydropower generation forecasting.  “Climate change will have significant impacts on energy supply and demand. This research will help quantify the effects for energy forecasting,” said Energy Commission Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller.

Earning $95,000 in grants was Engineering Economics, Inc. which will use the money to study enhanced cooling towers to cool buildings. The project would use heat exchanged between the cool, moist exiting air and hot, dry entering air to lower cold water temperature or reduce fan power and evaporative water consumption.

Also coming in at $95,000 innovator Brian Moffat who is working on a spindrift wave energy device that would generate electrical power from a wave-driven hydrokinetic turbine embedded in a submerged tube.

San Diego State University was awarded $95,000 for a system that would transfer protons to serve as catalysts in converting water to oxygen. The project is part of a system that would covert water to hydrogen fuel and oxygen using sunlight. Another California school, UC Riverside, scored two grants, one to help build an eco-routing navigation system for electrical vehicles that would calculate travel route using the least amount of energy so that the EV range would be extended; and one to investigate a new process to produce substituted natural gas from wet organic wastes.

Related Reading:

Renewable Energy: A Strategy For Long-Term Survival

A More Practical Path To Clean Energy?

Renewable Energy Leaders Of The World Unite

Image via Shutterstock


ii q.
g d c5 years ago


Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers5 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Arild Warud

Good news.

Heather Marvin
Heather Marvin5 years ago

It needs to become 'cool' for companies to pioneer new ideas to help the Planet. After all none of us can live without Earth and so if things fall apart so does business.

Terry Vanderbush
Terry V5 years ago

What a shame they didn't spend the money for alternative energies

Carl Oerke
Carl O5 years ago

Hopefully, we can end the subsidies to the oil and gas companies and use that money to fund more research in renewable and sustainable sources of energy.

Linda T.
Linda T5 years ago

Could you imagine that it would get to this where a bankrupt state is doing what the Federal Government should be doing. This is what disfunction looks like. Way to go California for moving this country forward.

Steve R.
Steve R5 years ago

I thought California was bankrupt?

What happened? Obama give them some "stimulus" money - our tax dollars?

Joseph Belisle
Joseph Belisle5 years ago

Once again California leads the nation. To bad they couldn't do it on gay marraige. Instead they took the troglodyte stand.

Christeen Anderson
Christeen A5 years ago

This is good news. Thank you for sharing.