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Signed bill to help renewable energy industry

June 22, 2010

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed HB 2370, a bill that will help the state foster the development of a fledgling renewable energy industry. The signing ceremony, conducted by ASU President Michael Crow, took place at MacroTechnology Works in the ASU Research Park.

HB 2370 creates individual and corporate income tax credits for research and development, production and delivery system costs associated with solar liquid fuels. The bill also specifies that qualified research include only research conducted in Arizona, including research conducted at a university and paid for by the taxpayer. It is in effect from 2011 to 2026.

Gary Dirks, director of LightWorks, an ASU initiative focused on solar-based energy and other light-inspired research, said the bill is “great news” for the future of Arizona and the renewable energy industry in the United States.

Similar to photosynthesis, solar liquid fuel refers to the process by which concentrated solar energy is used in conjunction with carbon dioxide and water to create hydrocarbons. In addition to creating combustible fuels such as methanol and ethanol, additional processing can potentially yield more traditional fuels such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

ASU is leading a national team of researchers that has submitted a proposal to the U.S. Department of Energy to become an Energy Innovation Hub. The $122-million hub will explore the research and development of fuels from sunlight and will support cross-disciplinary research and development focused on the barriers to transforming energy technologies into commercially viable materials, devices and systems. ASU partners in the LightSpeed Solutions project include Sandia National Laboratories, Princeton University, Yale University and the University of Minnesota.