The United States Department of Energy or DOE might be planning to start funding low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) research. At least that’s the opinion of New Energy Times writer Steven B. Krivit.

 

The DOE is prepared to give $500,000 in funding for 12 months of research for Open Innovative Development in Energy Related Applied Science. Krivit noted that one of the areas of “Energy Related Applied Science” is “Reliable Electricity Based on Electromechanical Systems” or REBELS (somebody must be an Old Miss fan that university’s football team is called the Rebels). The acronym might also voice somebody’s distaste for the physics establishment and its attitude to LENR.

Krivit thinks that REBELS is a euphemism for LENR and possibly a way for the DOE to get around the scientific establishment’s distaste for cold fusion. The establishment physicists that run the DOE don’t like the idea of LENR, so this might be their way of funding LENR without admitting they believe in it.

The research will be funded through the DOE’s Advanced Research Project Agency or ARPA-E. ARPA-E is the Department of Energy’s equivalent of the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Unlike ARPA-E, DARPA has shown quite a bit of interest in LENR in the past.

Our tax dollars at work the Department of Energy building in Washington D.C.

Hopefully Krivit is correct and some major LENR researchers like Peter Hagelstein, George H. Miley, and the various researchers associated with the Martin Fleischman Memorial Project will take notice of this. Whether or not one of them can actually get DOE funding remains to be seen.

It should also be noted that $500,000 is a tiny fraction of the funding needed to actually develop and commercialize LENR. More established researchers such as Defaklion, Andrea Rossi and Brillouin have had better luck raising venture capital from private sources.

Still this is a start, perhaps the bureaucrats at DOE are scared that some inventor in the garage is about to solve the energy problem. That of course would bring their organization’s entire reason for existence into question and make it difficult for them to get more tax money out of Congress.

I also have to wonder how long this will be up before the professional cold fusion skeptics see it and demand it be taken down. Those geniuses believe it is alright for DOE to waste money on ethanol and solar panel companies that go bankrupt but wasteful to even investigate other avenues of research. I just hope this means that the DOE has changed its mind and is about to invest in LENR for real.