Here’s how DOE’s first crop of risky energy tech has done

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Enlarge / Former Energy Secretary Ernst Moniz speaks at an ARPA-E event in 2016.

In 2009, the US Department of Energy started funding energy research through the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (or ARPA-E) program. The goal was take more risks than traditional federal efforts and help new renewable energy technologies get off the ground. Private investment had been flagging due to slow returns, but the huge societal benefits of clean energy was deemed to justify government support. The hope was that the funding could accelerate the timeline for new technology to mature to the point that private investors would find

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