Before you get all excited, 99% of DOE's research into new technologies and alternative energy has zero chance of ever coming to commercial operation. They are as kooky as anyone--really more so. They have never seen anything too outlandish that they wouldn't spend government dollars to look into it. Especially if those government dollars would be spent at METC in Byrd's back yard.
One of the members of its institute called AIAS works at the US Department of Energy. And guess what the DoE is currently investigation cold fusion!!! Think about it, moles in the establishment making it happen.
I don't know if they are too gullible, doing a good job and looking into anything that might be helpful, just pandering to Byrd or simply throwing money at other things so they can't be accused of being shills for nuclear power.
Probably some combination of all of the above.
Sort of like asking NASA if a space station is possible.
Actually that appears to be the popular presses view on scientists but believe it or not, some are the least brainwashed out of the lot of us. When I was at university I noticed this stark contrast between science and art students. In the arts they would supply them with commie indoctrination and all manor of brainwashing Illumi works of 'art'. Science was very nearly the opposite because you can't brainwash the logical mind and you need a logical mind to do maths and physics.
The techies get a really bad press for their dress sense and so on and called geeks but they do not play the pr game. Most are totally absorbed in their specialised field and you will find they consider much of the rest of life as boring and unstimulating because what they work on is so amazing in contrast. Things they can see but the rest of us are blind to. I have dabbled in these areas and I can vouch for the fact that this is indeed so.