Biden-Harris Earmark $254mn to Decarbonization

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(DOE, 25.Jan.2024) — In support of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $171mn for 49 projects across 21 states to reduce industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and accelerate the development of innovative decarbonization technologies. DOE also announced that applications are open for an $83mn funding opportunity to decrease emissions from hard-to-decarbonize industrial sectors, which represent roughly 30 percent of total U.S. carbon emissions. 

The announcements support DOE’s Industrial Heat Shot and Clean Fuels & Products Shot and will help the nation meet the Biden-Harris Administration’s ambitious goal of a net-zero emissions economy by 2050. Advancing next-generation technologies that reduce harmful emissions is a key component of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to tackle the climate crisis, create new, good-paying jobs across the nation, and strengthen America’s manufacturing and industrial competitiveness.   

“Today’s announcement will help advance the innovative technologies we need to lower costs and improve energy efficiency in America’s factories and industrial centers,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Ensuring America’s industrial sector and its robust workforce remain strong and competitive is key to maintaining our nation’s edge as a global economic powerhouse and accelerating President Biden’s vision of a strong, made-in-America clean energy future.” 

Accelerating Groundbreaking Emissions-Reducing Technologies

Managed by DOE’s Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office, the 49 selectees will support high-impact, applied research, development, and pilot-scale technology validation and demonstration (RD&D) projects aiming to reduce energy usage and GHG emissions from industrial subsectors, such as the chemicals industry which accounts for about 40 percent of all industrial energy use and emissions in the United States. The projects will also advance cross-sector industrial decarbonization approaches to tackle challenges common across various industries. 

Of the projects selected, 16 will be led by private industry, 22 by academic institutions, 3 by non-profit organizations, and 8 by DOE National Laboratories. Selected projects will advance decarbonization technologies in the following areas:  

  • Decarbonizing Industrial Heat (10 projects, $25.3mn): Selected projects will accelerate high-impact technology innovations for equipment and components to decarbonize thermal processes across the industrial sector.  
  • Low-Carbon Fuels Utilization R&D (6 projects, $20.7mn): Selected projects will focus on research, development, validation, and demonstration needed to accelerate the commercial readiness of hydrogen-fueled process heating technology and low-carbon-input, flexible CHP (combined heat and power).   
  • Exploratory Cross-Sector R&D (5 projects, $14mn): Selected projects, partially funded by DOE’s Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office, will focus on emerging R&D areas for technologies and materials that enable industrial decarbonization and significantly increase energy efficiency.  
  • Decarbonizing Chemicals (6 projects, $30.5mn): Converting between chemical building blocks to create consumer and industrial products, such as fuels, polymers, and paints, is incredibly energy intensive. Selected projects will focus on decarbonization technologies for high-volume chemicals with significant CO2 emissions, including advanced separations processes, advanced reactor systems, and dynamic catalyst science. 
  • Decarbonizing Iron and Steel (7 projects, $37mn): Selected projects, partially funded by DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office, will focus on decarbonization opportunities in iron and steel production, including innovative manufacturing technologies to enable decarbonization; electrification of existing manufacturing processes; overcoming challenges associated with utilizing hydrogen in steelmaking; and addressing scrap contaminants in recycling.  
  • Decarbonizing Food and Beverage Manufacturing (5 projects, $11.1mn): Selected projects will focus on low- and zero-carbon solutions for process heating, cooling, and refrigeration in a wide variety of energy-intensive food and beverage operations.  
  • Decarbonizing Cement and Concrete (5 projects, $20mn): Selected projects will address cement’s direct process emissions and will accelerate the commercial readiness of emerging low-carbon or net-zero technologies for the cement and concrete industry that provide energy savings and other benefits such as reduced complexity and improved process efficiency and optimization.   
  • Decarbonizing Forest Products (5 projects, $12mn): Selected projects will focus on decarbonization opportunities in energy-intensive drying, paper forming, and pulping processes.  

Selection for award negotiations is not a commitment by DOE to issue an award or provide funding. Before funding is issued, DOE and the applicants will undergo a negotiation process, and DOE may cancel negotiations and rescind the selection for any reason during that time.     

More information on the projects announced can be found here.      

Tackling Decarbonization Challenges in Energy- and Emissions-Intensive Industries

The Energy- and Emissions-Intensive Industries (EEII) funding opportunity will focus on applied RD&D for the highest GHG-emitting industrial subsectors, specifically: chemicals and fuels; iron and steel; food and beverage; building and infrastructure materials (including cement and concrete, asphalt pavements, and glass); and forest products. Together, these industries account for more than 65 percent of U.S. industrial manufacturing emissions, which jeopardize public health and pollute global ecosystems. Decarbonizing these industries is essential to decarbonizing supply chains and meeting President Biden’s clean energy and climate goals. 

This funding opportunity will also include a joint topic with the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office and the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management focused on pre-front-end engineering and design (pre-FEED) studies that support the development of decarbonized industrial processes using innovative, pre-commercial technologies.   

Concept papers are due 19 Mar. 2024, at 5:00pm ET, and full applications are due 11 Jun. 2024, at 5:00pm ET. DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy envisions awarding multiple financial assistance awards in the form of cooperative agreements. The estimated period of performance for each award will be approximately 12 to 36 months. Learn more about this funding opportunity. 

This funding is part of DOE’s Technologies for Industrial Emissions Reduction Development Program (TIEReD), which leverages resources across the Department’s applied research offices to invest in fundamental science, research, development, initial pilot-scale demonstration projects, and technical assistance and workforce development. Projects ultimately selected will also advance the goals of the DOE Industrial Decarbonization Roadmap, which focuses on the highest emitting industries where decarbonization technologies will have the greatest impact, such as iron and steel, aluminum, cement and concrete, and other energy-intensive industrial processes.  

Today’s announcements advance two of DOE’s Energy Earthshots: the Clean Fuels & Products Shot and the Industrial Heat Shot. The Energy Earthshots Initiative targets the remaining solution points of the most challenging technical problems across our energy economy and will accelerate breakthroughs of more abundant, affordable, and reliable clean energy solutions within the decade. The Clean Fuels & Products Shot aims to dramatically decarbonize the transportation and chemical industries through a staged RD&D strategy that will provide the technologies necessary to cut GHG emissions and establish the United States as a world leader in clean fuel and clean carbon-based chemical production. The Industrial Heat Shot aims to develop cost competitive industrial heat decarbonization technologies with at least 85 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.  

DOE is committed to investing in bold industrial decarbonization technologies at each stage of the innovation pipeline. Learn more about DOE’s all-hands-on-deck strategy to decarbonize the U.S. industrial sector.  

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