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EERE report outlines stakeholder recommendations for increasing inclusivity in clean energy

February 17, 2022
By: Emily Chesser

To boost inclusive innovation and entrepreneurship in climate technology, the Office of Energy and Renewable Energy (EERE) should provide funding for intermediary organizations who work directly with underrepresented communities to integrate clean energy education activities; and EERE should make it easier to request federal funding by streamlining the application process. Those are the recommendations resulting from EERE’s efforts to broaden access to funding opportunities and enable an inclusive and just entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem in climate and energy technologies.

Various stakeholder groups, including environmental justice and community-based organization; incubators and accelerators; tech developers, investors, and funders; state, local, and tribal governments; and, researchers responded to a request for information (RFI) in June to provide these recommendations. The RFI requested information based on themes centered around identifying barriers to applying and receiving funding and methods for increasing awareness of funding opportunities. According to the report, the RFI received 80 responses from over 160 organizations. Many of these responses focused on requests to allocate specific funding for underrepresented groups, facilitate mentorship programs, and increase access, equity, and justice within the clean energy sector.

EERE says it has begun incorporating these recommendations into its activities. In September 2021, EERE launched the Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize, which will provide funding from the Department of Energy (DOE) to organizations involved in clean energy activities that support partnerships with disadvantaged communities. In addition, EERE will be collaborating on DOE’s $54 million small business funding opportunity, which will require businesses that are awarded funding under the topic of community-driven solutions for a just and equitable energy transition to partner with communities and community organizations to co-develop clean energy technology solutions, in line with the Justice40 initiative.

The full report is available for download here.

clean energy, innovation, doe