U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announces $3.7 million to go to research at UVA
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm toured one of the University of Virginia’s chemistry labs that focuses on clean energy, and after the tour she made a big announcement.
“Dr. Zhang’s lab and Dr. Zhang, thank you so much for your leadership. You will be awarded $3.7 million to advance clean hydrogen,” Granholm said.
This $3.7 million is part of the $540 million that the Department of Energy is awarding to 54 universities and 11 national laboratories.
“The question is, ‘How do you split water to extract the hydrogen?’ The inherent dilemma is that you want to use a clean process and a sustainable process in order to actually produce that hydrogen, which itself is a clean fuel,” UVA President Jim Ryan said.
Solving this problem would be a big step forward in meeting President Biden’s plan of net-zero emissions by 2050.
“Last year, we as a nation spent $150 billion in cleaning up after these extreme weather events. Those extreme weather events are obviously called caused by carbon pollution, and carbon pollution needs to be reduced. The way to reduce that is to find ways to have zero carbon emitting energy sources, which gets us to hydrogen,” Granholm said.
Researchers in Dr. Zhang’s lab say this funding will open up new doors for them.
“Primarily, the grant is opening up the space for a lot of collaboration both within and outside of UVA, as well as just bringing in new students to be able to accelerate a lot of the catalytic and fundamental energy science that we are doing,” Bukuru Anaclet with the Zhang Lab said.
President Ryan says investing in this research today is an investment for the future.
“The topic of clean energy is one that I think my kids would say is important, but boring. And I would say that they’re half right. It is unbelievably important,” President Ryan said.
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