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The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will be home to a new multimillion-dollar Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) established by the DOE's Office of Science. NREL's Center for Inverse Design will pursue advanced scientific research on material discovery for energy.

EFRC is one of 46 centers to study various areas of scientific research that were selected for funding by the DOE over a planned initial five-year period. NREL will participate in six additional centers led by other organizations.

"As global energy demand grows over this century, there is an urgent need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and imported oil and curtail greenhouse gas emissions," says Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. "Meeting this challenge will require significant scientific advances. These centers will mobilize the enormous talents and skills of our nation's scientific workforce in pursuit of the breakthroughs that are essential to make alternative and renewable energy truly viable as large-scale replacements for fossil fuels."

EFRC researchers will take advantage of new capabilities in nanotechnology, high-intensity light sources, neutron scattering sources, supercomputing and other advanced instrumentation, much of it developed with DOE Office of Science support over the past decade.

The centers will work together in an effort to lay the scientific groundwork for fundamental advances in solar energy, biofuels, transportation, energy efficiency, electricity storage and transmission, clean coal and carbon capture and sequestration, and nuclear energy.

SOURCE: National Renewable Energy Laboratory

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