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DOE’s Energy Innovation Hubs Origins, c haracteristics, reflections. Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy The National Academies September 10, 2012. Dr. Patricia M. Dehmer Deputy Director for Science Programs Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy

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doe s energy innovation hubs origins c haracteristics reflections
DOE’s Energy Innovation HubsOrigins, characteristics, reflections

Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy

The National Academies

September 10, 2012

Dr. Patricia M. DehmerDeputy Director for Science Programs

Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy

doe and its predecessors
DOE and its predecessors
  • 1942-1946 Manhattan Project, War Department Army Corps of Engineers
    • Wartime weapons development
    • Foundations of first DOE multi-purpose national labs
  • 1946-1974 Atomic Energy Commission created by the 1946 Atomic Energy Act (P.L. 79-585)
    • Research in basic nuclear processes, nuclear reactor technologies, use of nuclear materials for variety of purposes
    • Establishment of 9 of the 10 DOE/SC national labs
  • 1974-1977 Energy Research and Development Administration, a new energy R&D agency motivated by Arab oil embargo and created by (P.L. 93-438)
    • Research expands to include solar, fossil, geothermal, synthetic fuels, transmission, conservation, etc.
  • 1977-present Department of Energy(P.L. 95-91)
    • Separation of management oversight of weapons and non-weapons labs and separation of basic and applied research
    • DOE/SC labs undergo transition to “open” labs with 1000s of visitors/users annually
the doe portfolio today area map of the fy 2013 budget request to congress 27 2b
The DOE Portfolio TodayArea map of the FY 2013 budget request to Congress ($27.2B)
  • Fuels from Sunlight (2010)
  • Batteries and Energy Storage (2012)
  • Energy Efficient Buildings (2010)
  • Critical Materials (2012)
  • Modeling and Simulation of Nuclear Reactors (2010)

Research sponsors

  • Energy Efficient Buildings (2010)
  • Critical Materials (2012)
  • 46 Energy Frontier Research Centers (2009)
  • Modeling and Simulation of Nuclear Reactors (2010)
  • 3 Bioenergy Research Centers (2007)
  • Fuels from Sunlight (2010)
  • Batteries and Energy Storage (2012)

Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs)

Before the Hubs came the BRCs

bioenergy research centers precursors to the hubs
Bioenergy Research Centers—Precursors to the Hubs
  • The National Academies played an important role in defining the BRCs:
    • Rising Above the Gathering Storm (2005)

Recommended major increases in federal spending for basic physical sciences and also prompted discussions on new modes for organizing, funding, and managing DOE-supported research.

    • Review of the Department of Energy’s Genomics: GTL Program (2006)

Did not support the SC Biological and Environmental Research (BER) facilities plan to construct (sequentially) and operate four separate centers for biosciences. Instead recommended the establishment of “vertically integrated” centers, each focused on a specific mission area, beginning with bioenergy.

  • Steven Chu, then Director of LBNL, was part of the “Gathering Storm” panel; he specifically emphasized the need for more active research management, advocating “Bell Labs” model.
other influences suggesting a new approach c 2006
Other Influences Suggesting a New Approach, c. 2006
  • BER, through workshops, developed a roadmap for bioenergy research:
    • Science breakthroughs were needed to overcome barriers to cost-effective cellulosic biofuels –incremental improvements in existing technologies were insufficient.
  • Broader context:
    • Energy: Near-doubling of gasoline prices between 2000 and 2006 and dependence on foreign petroleum stimulated renewed interest in alternative energy.
    • Climate: Concern about climate change was growing.
    • Policy: Administration at the time favored “scientific/ technological” approaches rather than “policy” approaches to curbing carbon emissions.
initiation of the brcs
Initiation of the BRCs

Based on the NRC reports and the BER workshops, SC proposed two BRCs at $25M/year each for an initial 5 years.

  • Multidisciplinary and multi-institutional; partnering encouraged
  • Basic research is goal-oriented—new knowledge to support cost-effective production of cellulosic biofuels
  • Researchers work in an integrated, coordinated team under strong management
  • Management has flexibility to shift research directions as needed
  • Why $25M? Large enough to do the job; small enough to resist fragmentation. About the size of a biotech startup.

Three* BRCs competitively selected and launched Sept. 2007.

*Administration increased the number from 2 to 3

brc outputs first four years
BRC OutputsFirst four years
  • 325 peer-reviewed publications and 119 items of intellectual property (invention disclosures, licenses, patent filings, and patents)
  • Improvements in plant feedstocks, methods of deconstructing lignocellulose, and microbial synthesis of fuels, including “drop-in” green hydrocarbon substitutes for gasoline, diesel, and precursor to jet fuel – also many new basic insights and new “enabling technologies” for biology
  • BRCs continue basic research and have begun to move technologies toward commercial scale-up, using, among other means, the DOE/EERE-funded Advanced Biofuel Process Demonstration Unit at LBNL.

Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs)

After the BRCs, but still before the Hubs, came the EFRCs

basic research needs grand challenges for science and the imagination
“Basic Research Needs” + “Grand Challenges for Science and the Imagination”

Basic Research Needs to Assure a Secure Energy Future, 2002

  • Synthesize, atom by atom, new forms of matter with tailored properties
  • Synthesize man-made nanoscale objects with capabilities rivaling those of living things
  • Control the quantum behavior of electrons in materials
  • Control emergent properties that arise from the complex correlations of atomic and electronic constituents
  • Control matter very far away from equilibrium

Directing Matter and Energy: Five Challenges for Science and the Imagination, 2007

energy frontier research centers blending use inspired research and grand challenge research
Energy Frontier Research CentersBlending use-inspired research and grand challenge research
  • 46 EFRCs in 35 States launched in fall 2009
      • $155M/yr($100M/yr from BES; $55M/yr from Recovery Act)
      • ~850 senior investigators and ~2,000 students, postdoctoral fellows,and technical staff at ~115 institutions
      • >250 scientific advisory board members from 13 countries and >40 companies
  • Impact to date (~2.5 years)
      • >2,000 peer-reviewed papers includingmore than 60 publications in Science and Nature.
      • > 40 patents applications and nearly 50 additional patent/invention disclosures by 28 of the EFRCs.
      • at least 9 start-up companies with EFRC contributions



Energy Innovation Hubs (Hubs)

And then came the Hubs

energy innovation hubs
Energy Innovation Hubs

A signature initiative of Secretary Chu, Energy Innovation Hubs address research challenges that have proved the most resistant to solution by conventional R&D management structures.

  • Selection of topics: 
    • Problems represent a significant grand challenge; advances are likely to have an impact on energy production or use and on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Although individual investigators or small groups may have studied the problems for decades, solutions have not been forthcoming. A large-scale coordinated, multidisciplinary, systems-level approach is needed to accelerate the pace of discovery and innovation and to realize efficiency, manufacturability, deployment, and utilization of new technologies.
hubs management philosophy
Hubs Management Philosophy
  • a lead institution with strong scientific leadership;
  • a central location;
  • if geographically distributed, state-of-the-art telepresence technology to enable long distance collaboration;
  • a strong organization and management plan to effect goals.
  • Failure mode: over constrained via budget atomization
  • Failure mode: mini-funding agency

The Hub Funding Opportunity Announcements, available on FedConnect, contain detailed descriptions of the Hub management philosophy and selection criteria.

energy innovation hubs fy 2010
Energy Innovation Hubs, FY 2010
  • FY 2010 DOE congressional budget request sought $280M in funding for eight new Hubs ($35M each):
    • Fuels from Sunlight (SC)
    • Modeling and Simulation of Nuclear Reactors (NE)
    • Energy Efficient Buildings (EERE)
    • Batteries and Energy Storage (SC)
    • Solar Electricity (photovoltaics and concentrated solar power) (EERE)
    • Grid Materials, Devices, and Systems (OE)
    • Extreme Materials for Nuclear Energy Systems (NE)
    • Carbon Capture and Storage (FE)
  • Three Hubs were funded at $24M each

Green = funded in FY 2010

Red = not funded

energy innovation hubs fy 2011 and fy 2012
Energy Innovation Hubs, FY 2011 and FY 2012
  • FY 2011 the DOE congressional budget request sought $107M in funding for four Hubs (one new):
    • Fuels from Sunlight (SC)
    • Modeling and Simulation of Nuclear Reactors (NE)
    • Energy Efficient Buildings (EERE)
    • Batteries and Energy Storage (SC)
  • FY 2012 the DOE congressional budget request sought $146Min funding for six Hubs (three new)
    • Fuels from Sunlight (SC)
    • Modeling and Simulation of Nuclear Reactors (NE)
    • Energy Efficient Buildings (EERE)
    • Batteries and Energy Storage (SC)
    • Critical Materials (EERE)
    • Smart Grid Technology and Systems (OE)

Black = existing in FY 2010

Green = newly funded in FY 2012

Red = not funded

These five Hubs define the current program

research and facilities in the office of science
Research and Facilities in the Office of Science

Funding= $5B

All Other

Major Items of Equipment

(includes ITER)

  • Support for 25,000 Ph.D.s, grad students, undergrads, engineers, and support staff

Facility Construction


  • The world’s largest collection of scientific user facilities with over 26,500 users /yr

Facility Operations

Bioenergy Research Centers

Energy Frontier Research Centers

Energy Innovation Hubs

the three existing hubs
The Three Existing Hubs

Fuels from Sunlight Hub

  • Awarded to the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis
  • Location: Pasadena and Berkeley, California
  • Caltech lead, LBNL co-lead
  • 5 core partners: SLAC, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, and UC San Diego

Nuclear Modeling and Simulation Hub

  • Awarded to the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of LWRs
  • Location: Oak Ridge, Tennessee
  • ORNL lead
  • 8 core partners: INL, LANL, Sandia, EPRI, Westinghouse, TVA, MIT, NC State, Michigan

Energy Efficient Buildings Hub/Regional Innovation Cluster

  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Penn State lead, sited at the Philadelphia Navy Yard
  • 21 core partners
  • $5.2 million in additional funds from EDA, SBA, and NIST
fuels from sunlight hub
Fuels from Sunlight Hub

JCAP Mission:JCAP's mission is to develop a manufacturable solar-fuels generator, made of earth abundant elements, that will use only sunlight, water, and carbon as inputs and robustly produce fuel from the sun ten times more efficiently that current crops.

the nuclear energy modeling and simulation hub is building a virtual reactor
The Nuclear Energy Modeling and Simulation Hub is Building a Virtual Reactor
  • Advanced modeling and simulation capabilities to create a usable environment for predictive simulation of light water reactors.
  • The Hub will incorporate science-based models, state-of-the-art numerical methods, modern computational science and engineering practices, and validation against data from operating pressurized water reactors (PWRs).
  • It will couple state-of-the-art fuel performance, neutronics, thermal-hydraulics, and structural models with existing tools for systems and safety analysis and will be designed for implementation on both today’s leadership-class computers and the advanced architecture platforms now under development by DOE.
the virtual reactor
The Virtual Reactor

NE Energy Innovation Hub

addresses specific safety and operational issues
Addresses Specific Safety and Operational Issues
  • For Existing TVA Owned
  • Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR)
        • Sequoya 1 & 2
        • Watts Bar

NE Energy Innovation Hub


Energy Efficient Building Hub Objectives

  • Develop and deploy to the building industry a state-of-the-art modeling platform to integrate design, construction, commissioning, and operation
  • Demonstrate the market viability of integrating energy saving technologies for whole building solutions at the Navy Yard and elsewhere in the region
  • Identify policies that accelerate market adoption of energy efficient retrofits of commercial buildings and support policy makers in the development of such policies in the Greater Philadelphia region
  • Inform, train, and educate people who design, own, construct, maintain, or occupy buildings about proven energy saving strategies and technologies
  • Help launch ventures with new and existing companies that will exploit market opportunities for providing whole building energy saving solutions
energy efficient buildings hub
Energy Efficient Buildings Hub

EEB Hub Performers:

The Pennsylvania State University

Bayer MaterialScience

Ben Franklin Technology Partners of SE PA

Carnegie Mellon University

Collegiate Consortium

Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center

Drexel University

IBM Corporation

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Lutron Electronics, Inc.

Morgan State University

New Jersey Institute of Technology

Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation

PPG Industries

Princeton University

Purdue University

Rutgers University

United Technologies Corporation

University of Pennsylvania

University of Pittsburgh

Virginia Tech

Wharton Small Business Development Center

  • 22 initial performers
    • Research universities
    • DOE laboratories
    • Industrial firms
    • Economic development agencies
    • Community and technical colleges
  • Not a closed consortium



Energy-Regional Innovation Cluster (E-RIC)

Dual E-RIC Mission

Reduced energy use in buildings

Regional economic development

  • DOE
    • $122 million
  • Economic Development Administration
    • $5 million
  • NIST
    • $1.5 million
  • Small Business Administration
    • $1.3 million
  • Commonwealth of PA
    • $30 million

The Navy Yard

  • Redevelopment project of regional and national significance
  • Test bed for research and demonstration
    • Independent unregulated micro-grid
    • Building energy efficiency
    • Distributed power production and management
  • 270 Buildings
    • Early 19th Century to the present
    • Most occupied and some awaiting redevelopment,
    • Mix of industrial, commercial and government uses
  • Clean Energy Campus
    • Mid-Atlantic Clean Energy Applications Center
    • Northern Mid-Atlantic Solar Training Center
    • GridSTAR Smart Grid Training Center
    • Build America Residential Retrofit Center
    • Energy Efficient Buildings Hub
  • BRCs, EFRCs, and Hubs have received considerable attention from the scientific community, the administration, Congress, and the press.
  • BRCs, EFRCs, and Hubs draw their researchers from the base of single-investigator and small-group awards, many of which are funded by DOE.
  • BRCs and EFRCs received favorable external peer reviews; show very good productivity; and show evidence that they may indeed accelerate innovation. Hubs will undergo similar evaluation, likely at about the midpoint of their 5-year award.
  • The three Hubs established to date are quite different from one another—multiple experiments are evolving simultaneously.
bioenergy research centers 2007 energy frontier research centers 2009 energy innovation hubs 2010
Bioenergy Research Centers (2007)Energy Frontier Research Centers (2009)Energy innovation Hubs (2010)
hubs cost sharing policy
Hubs Cost Sharing Policy

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 requires cost sharing of 20% for applied research and development and 50% for demonstration and deployment activities, unless waived or modified by the Secretary of Energy.

R&D = “basic research,” “applied research,” and “development” as defined in OMB circular A-11

D&D = “demonstration and deployment” (not defined by OMB)

The Hubs cost sharing policy is:

  • A 20% cost share requirement for R&D activities within the Hub performed by any for-profit entity, with the cost share amount based on the portion of the R&D budget executed by that entity, not on the total project cost.
  • A reduction of the required cost sharing for D&D activities performed by non-Federal entities from 50% to 20%. The cost share amount will be based on the budget for Hub D&D activities performed by the non-Federal entity.
  • An elimination of all cost sharing for basic research, applied research, and development activities within the Hub performed by non-Federal entities except for for-profit entities, as described in (1).
office of science organization
Office of Science Organization

FY2013 Req. $5,001M










$84M S&S

$118M SLI