A new initiative aimed at giving US entrepreneurs and manufacturers a push in the global race for clean energy has been launched.
The Department of Energy is providing $40 million (£28.7m) under the National Laboratory-led Energy Materials Network (EMN).
It will focus on tackling one of the major barriers to widespread commercialisation of clean energy technologies: design, testing and production of advanced materials, with the aim of bringing them to market more quickly.
They include materials used in cleaner vehicles and new ways of replacing the “rare and costly” platinum group metals currently used in hydrogen fuel cells with more, inexpensive substitutes such as iron.
One consortium will also focus on developing new materials to make solar modules more durable and cost-effective.
DOE Under Secretary Franklin (Lynn) Orr said: “Manufacturing better materials for clean energy products has the potential to revolutionize whole industries but only a small fraction of the materials investigated in the laboratory currently make it to widespread market deployment.
“By bringing together American manufacturing expertise, academic leadership in discovering new materials and the exceptional capabilities of DOE’s National Labs, the Energy Materials Network can spark a revolution in commercializing clean energy materials.”