The federal Department of Energy is giving $228 million for projects that will turn sunlight directly into fuel and carbon dioxide (CO2) into fuel and other products, such as plastics, cement and fertilizers.
This article from Biofuels Digest says $122 million will go to start an Energy Innovation Hub for the sun projects, and $106 million for six projects dealing with CO2:
The Fuels from Sunlight Energy Innovation Hub is one of three Hubs that will receive funding in FY10. The Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), to be led by the Cal Tech in partnership with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
The goal of the Hub is to develop an integrated solar energy-to-chemical fuel conversion system and move this system from the bench-top discovery phase to a scale where it can be commercialized. JCAP research will be directed at the discovery of the functional components necessary to assemble a complete artificial photosynthetic system: light absorbers, catalysts, molecular linkers, and separation membranes.
The Hub will then integrate those components into an operational solar fuel system and develop scale-up strategies to move from the laboratory toward commercial viability.
In addition to the major partners, Cal Tech and Berkeley Lab, other participating institutions include SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford, California; the University of California, Berkeley; the University of California, Santa Barbara; the University of California, Irvine; and the University of California, San Diego.
The article goes on to say $156 million in private cost shares will match the $106 million for the CO2-to-products grants.