Technology Review: We're Underfunding Near-Term Research

An article from MIT's Technology Review magazine, "Energy Research Sputters", gives a short account of the decline in practical energy research funding through the Department of Energy, in favor of money for the old hydrogen boondoggle. As we noted this year's budget wasn't good for useful research: the Technology Review article quotes a AAAS analysis which found a 10.5 percent decrease in solar and renewables research, and energy conservation research cut by 16.7 percent. 

TR quotes professor Ernest Moniz, who has a list of shorter-term technologies that deserve more funding, including advanced internal combustion engines and new techniques for burning fossil fuels more cleanly in power plants. Specifically mentioned is the homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI), which could run efficiently on a wide range of fuels, with advanced electronic controls.

But the problem is a lot deeper than that - as the article notes, in real dollars, energy research funding is less than it was 20 to 25 years ago. Perhaps that will finally change now that high oil prices have everybody's attention...

Created: 2006-02-01 04:55:01 by Arthur Smith