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Government Grants for Alternative Energy

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									Government Grants for Alternative Energy


In his State of the Union Address for 2007, President George W. Bush called for a 22% increase in federal
grants for research and development of alternative energy. However, in a speech he gave soon after, he said
to those assembled, I recognize that there has been some interesting mixed signals when it comes to funding.


Where the mixed signals were coming from concerned the fact that at the same time the President was
calling on more government backing for alternative energy research and development, the NREL—the
National Renewable Energy Laboratory of Golden, Colardo—was laying off workers and contractors left
and right. Apparently, the Laboratory got the hint, because soon after the State of the Union Address,
everyone was re-hired. The second speech of the President's was actually given at the NREL. There is
almost unanimous public support for the federal backing through research grants, tax breaks, and other
financial incentives of research and development of alternative energy sources.


The NREL is the nation's leading component of the National Bioenergy Center, a “virtual” center that has no
central bricks and mortar office. The NREL's raison d'etre is the advancing of the US Department of
Energy's and the United States' alternative energy objectives. The laboratory's field researchers and staff
scientists, in the words of Laboratory Director Dan Arvizu, “support critical market objectives to accelerate
research from scientific innovations to market-viable alternative energy solutions. At the core of this
strategic direction are NREL's research and technology development areas. These areas span from
understanding renewable resources for energy, to the conversion of these resources to renewable electricity
and fuels, and ultimately to the use of renewable electricity and fuels in homes, commercial buildings, and
vehicles.” The federally-backed Laboratory directly helps along the United States' objectives for discovering
renewable alternative fuels for powering our economy and our lifestyles.


The NREL is set up to have several areas of expertise in alternative energy research and development. It
spearheads research and development efforts into renewable sources of electricity; these would include such
things as solar power, wind power, biomass power, and geothermal power. It also spearheads research and
development of renewable fuels for powering our vehicles such as biomass and biodiesel fuels and hydrogen
fuel cells. Then, it seeks to develop plans for integrated system enginnering; this includes bringing
alternative energy into play within buildings, electrical grids and delivery systems, and transportation
infrastructures. The Laboratory is also set up for strategic development and analysis of alternative energy
objectives through the forces of economics, market analysis and planning, and alternative energy investment
portfolios structurings.


The NREL is additionally equipped with a Technology Transfer Office. This Office supports laboratory
scientists and engineers in the practical application of and ability to make a living from their expertise and
the technologies they develop. NREL's research and development staff and its facilities are recognized for
their remarkable prowess by private industry, which is reflected in the hundreds of collaborative projects
and licensed technologies that the Laboratory now has with both public and private partners.
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