U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry Recently said In order to achieve the goal of net zero emissions by 2045, we will “need technologies that we don’t have yet.” Well, he was half right. Indeed, tackling climate change requires innovative, technology-driven ideas that can be tested, replicated, and expanded at an extremely rapid rate. But inventing new technologies is not necessarily the answer, nor is it the idea that we can deploy today’s technologies to 100% clean energy.
This is because today’s research laboratories already have the foundation for transformative new technologies. However, this technology requires facilities to support rapid testing and expansion. It requires a way to allow research and technological development to coexist without worrying about failure; a proven process that can quickly and effectively bring laboratory innovation to the market.
E.g, Blue Dot Optoelectronics Seattle has been able to develop technology and obtain funding in a (relatively) short period of time for the manufacture of next-generation solar cells, which can increase cell efficiency by as much as 30%. Regardless of technology, the fact that BlueDot’s work has evolved from a research idea in the University of Washington Chemistry Laboratory into a viable product testing startup within three years is why we need to pay attention.
How did they do it? They brought their ideas to the clean energy test bed.
Generally speaking, a test bench is a facility for testing, building, and demonstrating new technologies. Think of it as a testing ground for scientists, researchers, and companies. Cooperation with the test bench means that skilled scientists and higher-level technologies can be contacted to develop and test new products before entering the market.
Historically, climate change research and technological progress have been hindered by high costs and time delays. There is also a disconnect between technology deployers and researchers, which means that both research and tools for testing and implementing research exist, but the two do not always meet. The clean energy test bed has become a model for overcoming these obstacles, combining top performers and brilliant ideas to develop and deploy timely, cost-effective and feasible clean energy technologies.
To take full advantage of these facilities and add more facilities, a strong federal partnership is needed. In March, President Biden proposed a $2 trillion infrastructure proposal This includes USD 35 billion for climate technology research and development. Passing the bill means being able to bring clean energy solutions to the market when we need them before it is too late.
With the support of the Washington State Legislature and private charities, the University of Washington’s Clean Energy Research Institute release Washington Clean Energy Testbed In 2017, we will accelerate the development, promotion and adoption of new technologies such as solar energy collection, energy storage and system integration.
Was rated as a national demonstration enterprise Breakthrough Energy in 2019 Regarding the “Energy Innovation Landscape” report, the clean energy testbed is an open access facility based on the principle that users retain all intellectual property rights. It provides customized training and instrumentation to manufacture prototypes, test equipment and modules, and integrated systems. This model not only saves clean energy researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors millions of dollars on expensive equipment and personnel, it also speeds up the listing process. This means a healthier planet, faster.
For the traditional model of transferring new ideas from research to commercial products, it is usually necessary More than ten years Entering the market, even so, it may only cover a small segment of the market, and the cost may be too high to be reasonably scaled to the scale required to have an impact. The test bed gives more companies—from student startups to large companies—the opportunity to experiment, fail, and succeed without being overwhelmed by high costs, slow research iterations, and other time-constrained processes.
The test bed is not just the idea of the Pacific Northwest.Indiana is Battery Innovation Center, A test bench laboratory, focusing on the rapid development, testing and commercialization of safe, reliable and lightweight energy storage systems.And the University of Michigan Battery laboratory Pair material scientists and engineers with suppliers and manufacturers to expand the next generation of lithium-ion technology and test practical applications.California also has a similar clean energy test bed facility Test bed And South Carolina TD Energy Innovation Center.
The emerging clean energy test bed model can only be successful (and its influence will increase exponentially) if it cooperates with the Federation (read: funding and infrastructure). In addition to increasing the output of the existing test bed, federal support will provide the means to replicate the model nationwide, unlocking the full potential of the United States to reverse the trend of climate change.
This is an opinion and analysis article; opinions expressed Author or author Not necessarily those Scientific american.