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Crosscutting Research Program

Provide clean, efficient, flexible, reliable, and cost-competitive fossil-based power generation for near to long term

The Crosscutting Research Portfolio of Programs mature novel technologies for commercialization that can enhance new and existing fossil power plants.


Crosscutting’s six primary programs targeting enhanced fossil energy are:

HPMHigh Performance Materials

Program develops novel materials that aim to reduce the cost and time needed to develop and commercialize fossil energy applications in extreme operating environments.


Sensors Controls and CybersecuritySensors, Controls, and Cybersecurity

Program conducts R&D within the technical areas of advanced sensors, distributed intelligent controls and cybersecurity to realize flexible operation, enhance reliability, and improve efficiency for fossil-based power plants.


Modeling Simulation and Analysis Modeling, Simulation and Analysis

Program enables researchers to observe experiments with phenomena and key elements that are either not observable or impractical to research in-situ applications.


Water ManagementWater Management

Program analyzes the inextricable relationship between power generation and water usage, with the aim of reducing water consumption and increase plant efficiency.


Energy StorageEnergy Storage

Program develops energy storage technologies to promote a seamless transition between baseload and intermittent sources of electrical power.


University Training & ResearchUniversity Training & Research

Program sponsors two of the longest-running university training initiatives, including University Coal Research (UCR), and, Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions (HBCU/MSI). Both programs reinforce fossil energy research-based education, training, and workforce development.

This research is leading to enhancements to the fleet like improved plant efficiency, new ways to address the challenges of load following, better ways to counter cyber intrusions, and advancements in affordable, scalable technical solutions.

Because of the broad applicability of the Crosscutting Portfolio, its technologies often have applicability to other energy sectors like oil & gas infrastructure and aviation (both commercial and military).

On behalf of the US Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy, NETL pursues Crosscutting R&D by collaborating with other government agencies, world-renowned national labs, entrepreneurs, industry, and academic institutions.

Crosscutting efforts include sponsorship of two long-running university training programs that prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers to meet future energy challenges. These are the University Coal Research (UCR) program and the Historically-Black Colleges and Universities and Other Minority Institutions (HBCU-OMI) program.

In combination, these investments in innovation, informed by private sector stakeholders, enable more comprehensive risk assessment and techno-economic analysis, increase the resiliency of the nation’s fossil energy infrastructure and enable the adoption of cutting-edge data technologies for plant owners and operators.


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