ARPA-E Announces $150 Million to Develop Systems that Provide Abundant Primary Energy, Enable Intermodal Energy Transport, and Sustainably Meet Demand for Polymers & Other Materials

As Agency Marks 15th Year, ARPA-E Director Wang Unveils Vision OPEN Call Representing Revolutionary View of Energy Systems

DALLAS, TX — Today, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Director Evelyn N. Wang announced up to $150 million in funding to develop groundbreaking technologies to realize ARPA-E’s vision of the energy future. This vision includes three goals that are critical to achieve a sustainable energy and carbon transition with: 1) greenhouse gas (GHG)-free abundant primary energy; 2) an intermodal energy superhighway that transports diversified forms of primary energy; and 3) a carbon transition that sustainably meets the demand for polymers and other materials. ARPA-E Director Wang made the announcement from the 2024 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit, which kicked off in Texas today just outside Dallas.

Since the inception of ARPA-E, the OPEN program has served as an opportunity to advance transformative energy breakthroughs in critical areas that fall outside the scope of ARPA-E’s technology-focused programs. Now, as the Agency celebrates 15 years, ARPA-E unveiled Vision OPEN 2024, a funding opportunity that represents a revolutionary view of our energy future.

“Vision OPEN 2024 is designed to develop innovations based on an energy landscape dramatically different than what we have today,” said ARPA-E Director Evelyn N. Wang. “As the world looks to our nation for energy solutions, the United States looks to innovators to make an impact with technology. ARPA-E is calling on innovators to realize technologies that create a world beyond 2050 and sustain future generations.”

The three goals set forth by Vision OPEN 2024 require disruptive and ambitious technologies:

  1. GHG-Free Abundant Primary Energy: This first goal seeks to provide a path to a complete transition of global primary energy supply to GHG-free forms by 2050, while increasing the primary energy supply. This will be realized through innovations that accelerate deployment of GHG-free primary energy and advance both new and nascent technologies.
  2. Intermodal Energy Superhighway: The goal is to develop an intermodal energy superhighway to transfer energy through several modalities—not just electrical power. A wide range of primary energy will be transferred through various networks (e.g., electrical, chemical, and thermal) designed to support its efficient, reliable, and inexpensive distribution.
  3. Carbon as a Sustainable Building Block of the Future: ARPA-E envisions a path to a transition from carbon as a source of unsustainable energy to a source of valuable materials. This will be realized through innovations, including engineering plants and algae into “living refineries” of atmospheric carbon; transforming fossil refineries into low-GHG materials factories; applying advanced carbon allotropes to energy technologies and sequestration; and scaling up new polymers that are recyclable by design.

You can access more information about Vision OPEN 2024 on ARPA-E eXCHANGE.

ARPA-E advances high-potential, high-impact clean energy technologies across a wide range of technical areas that are strategic to America's energy security. Learn more about these efforts and ARPA-E's commitment to ensuring the United States continues to lead the world in developing and deploying advanced clean energy technologies.

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