The Department of Energy’s American-Made program drives innovation through prize challenges, offering millions of dollars in funding for clean energy solutions.
The American-Made Challenges program is different in that it funds prizes instead of grants, Wyatt Merrill, technology manager for the Building Technologies Office at the Department of Energy, said. The office is looking for certain outcomes, so it rewards projects that reach those outcomes, making the program less risky for the government, he explained.
One prize is for innovating solutions to make electrifying homes more affordable to help reach decarbonization efforts set forth by the current administration, according to Merrill.
The Solar prize is one of the longest running prizes and is looking for efficiency gains, ease of installation and aesthetic presentation, he said.