ARPA-E Reauthorization Returns Focus to Transformative Technology
House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas introduced a bill to reauthorize the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) for five years, with a gradual funding increase of $27 million per year.
H.R. 3915, the ARPA-E Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2019, reforms the ARPA-E program so it can fulfill its purpose of addressing energy, environmental, economic, and national security challenges through transformative science.
“ARPA-E is meant to advance truly cutting-edge technologies to revolutionize energy production, development, and use in America. To do that, it needs to be able to operate on the frontline of new research, focusing on transformational technologies that are too high-risk for industry investment,” said Lucas. “This bill empowers ARPA-E to work exclusively on this kind of disruptive innovation, ensuring its resources aren’t being drained by duplicative research or technology that could be better developed by private industry. The gradual funding increase in this legislation reflects the fact that ARPA-E’s high-risk, high-reward approach to technology development has the potential to dramatically improve American energy and represents a tremendous return on investment.”
ARPA-E was first created in the America Competes Act in 2007 and was designed to improve American economic and energy security. The ARPA-E Reauthorization and Reform Act refocuses ARPA-E on this mission and the development of technologies that decrease foreign energy imports, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, improve nuclear waste cleanup, strengthen the electric grid, and lessen the environmental impact of all forms of energy production.
Additionally, the ARPA-E Reauthorization and Reform Act gives the Secretary of Energy the flexibility to identify other challenges suited for ARPA-E’s unique research capabilities.