North Carolina’s Research Triangle was bested by California to get federal funding for a solar fuels innovation hub. The U.S. Department of Energy last week awarded the $122 million prize to a group led by the California Institute of Technology.
The news was disappointing for the University of North Carolina, Duke University, N.C. State University and RTI International, which make up the Research Triangle Solar Fuels Institute. That was clear when David Myers, RTI’s vice president of engineering and technology, talked to Science in the Triangle the same day the DoE made the announcement.
RTP-area efforts to develop a liquid fuel from sunlight will continue despite the federal funding setback, Myers said. The solar fuels initiative is one of the most active areas of energy research here and a key ingredient in plans to build the Triangle into an energy research hub.
“The area is vastly underrated in the amount of energy research going on,” Myer said.
Watch more of the videotaped Q&A here: