Opinions

U.S Energy Department To Handsomely Fund Blockchain R&D

2019 so far has been flooded with news of country after country getting involved with blockchain related projects. Some of the countries are relatively new in the headlines regarding the distributed ledger technology (DLT), while some have been recurring, very much like the United States. And only recently the country made headlines again, when the U.S. Department of Energy made an announcement about providing federal funding to blockchain related projects.

In the announcement made on Monday, it was revealed that a federal funding of up to $4.8 million was to go to universities that are involved in research and development projects, which also includes the projects related to blockchain. The entire funding is being made available through the department’s Office of Fossil Energy, under the “University Training and Research” initiative.

The projects that fall under this initiative are aiming to achieve various objectives, such as,

  • Educate and train the next generation of scientists and engineers to fill critical fossil workforce gaps
  • Advance innovative and fundamental research focused on coal-based, fossil energy resources
  • Develop early-stage technologies that increase the affordability of domestic energy resources and improving electric grid reliability and resilience.

The reason that blockchain is one of the areas being targeted for funding is because that would “secure process signal data and other information flows within distributed sensor networks for fossil-based power generation systems”, the department explained.

Apart from the blockchain related projects, other projects will include those that would particularly explore the area of advanced computing for coal plants to generate analytical results, improve the water reuse processes, and further investigate physical and biological sciences in order to measure chemical elements within coal fly ash.

The department explained that the reason behind such grand funding for research and development projects is to reduce the “risk and cost” that come with advanced fossil fuel-based energy technologies. Moreover it also helps to make the use of fossil resources in the country much more sustainable.

This is not the department’s first rodeo with blockchain related projects, in fact it has looked in to exploring further use cases of the technology before as well. Last January, it struck a partnership with BlockCypher, for the purpose of developing solutions that allow energy transactions to be settled across multiple blockchains.

In addition to that, back in the July of 2018, the department also awarded a handsome grant of nearly $1 million to Grid7, which is a blockchain startup based in Colorado. This move was aimed at advancing the development of a decentralized energy grid.

For further details, stay tuned to BlockPublisher.

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Abeer Anwaar

Abeer holds a Bachelors degree in Media studies and covers blockchain startups for BlockPublisher. An optimist, excels in the art of the written word and swears by the joy of all things sweet. Contact the editor at editor.startups@blockpublisher.com

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