This is actually terrific news:
“The Obama administration’s push to solve the nation’s energy problems, a massive federal program that rivals the Manhattan Project, is spurring a once-in-a-generation shift in U.S. science.
The government’s multibillion-dollar push into energy research is reinvigorating 17 giant U.S.-funded research facilities, from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory here to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. After many years of flat budgets, these labs are ramping up to develop new electricity sources, trying to build more-efficient cars and addressing climate change.
In fiscal 2009, the Obama administration increased the funding by 18%, to $4.76 billion, to the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which oversees 10 national labs and funds research at another seven. The office will receive $1.6 billion in government stimulus spending, as well, much of which it will also channel to these laboratories.”
We have had a series of incremental gains in various alt.energy technology. What we need is a major breakthrough in Physics — on a fundamental level — in solar energy efficiency, battery storage, transfer technology, wind resources, wave/tide conversion, etc.
Energy Push Spurs Shift in U.S. Science
WSJ, NOVEMBER 25, 2009