Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

The Most Important Stimulus Money?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 29, 2009

There’s a very good case to be made for the stimulus dough the Department of Energy is about to dish out:

One of the hottest cleantech funding programs created as part of the stimulus package is close to producing some of its first winners. When we spoke with the Department of Energy back in May about the $2.4 billion in grants for advanced battery manufacturing for plug-in vehicles, we learned that the agency planned to notify awardees sometime in July — as in by the end of this week — and dole out the grants by September. While DOE Deputy Secretary Jen Stutsman told us at the time that delays were a possibility, depending on the number and completeness of applications, she confirmed with us this week that the agency “will be making all of the announcements soon.”

More than 100 companies have lined up for the so-called Electric Drive Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative’s $2.4 billion, which is set to be divided into just 32 to 35 or so grants in seven different categories. The bulk of the money — $1.2 billion — will go toward manufacturing facilities for battery cells and packs, with grants of $100 million to $150 million supporting seven to eight projects.

This is the big bottleneck for realistic (and affordable) electric cars with a range beyond that of a typical daily commute.  Furthermore, improved battery storage is a way to take some strain off the grid.

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