MA authorizes more than $1 billion in new economic development activities

The Massachusetts legislature ended its 2018 session with a slate of bills related to tech-based economic development. Legislation for general economic development, life sciences industry, and green communities created new authorizations and provided for more than $1 billion in bond funding authority, with a substantial portion allocation to innovation-related activities. From broadband access to SBIR support to workforce development, the bills created a host of new opportunities for TBED in the Bay State.

Energy Department Initiatives Create Opportunities for Efficiency, Innovation

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced the Zero Energy Districts Accelerator, an initiative to develop best practices for establishing commercial districts that have net-neutral energy consumption. The accelerator is now one of 12 listed under the Better Buildings Initiative, which also includes dedicated programming for community and manufacturing initiatives. DOE’s most recent annual report finds that collectively, Better Buildings programs saved 160 trillion Btus of energy and 2.3 billion gallons of water while collecting more than 400 resources on implementation processes and technologies through 2015.

States Shifting to Clean Energy See Progress

An increase in electricity generation from renewable energy sources and policies driving a shift to clean energy are revealed in a new report from the Georgetown Climate Center that highlights 19 states’ progress toward a cleaner and more efficient electricity system. Progress includes a 40 percent increase in wind energy capacity nationally, and a 577 percent increase in solar capacity growth between 2011 and 2014.

DOE Announces Third Round Small Business Voucher Pilot Program

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has launched the third round of the Small Business Vouchers (SBVs) pilot program. In this round of funding, DOE will commit up to $5 million in technical assistance from DOE national labs to help bring the next generation of clean technologies to market in nine technical areas of interest. Proposals are due November 10. For the third round, EERE hopes to increase new small businesses collaborating with the DOE national laboratories. As such, small businesses with little to no experience working with the DOE national labs are strongly encouraged to submit requests for assistance.

DOE Announces Intent to Fund New NNMI, Clean Tech Manufacturing Pilot Program

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) released a notice of intent to establish and sustain a Clean Energy
Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Reducing Embodied-Energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) in materials manufacturing. The $70 million funding opportunity
will be released in June to enable the development and widespread deployment of key industrial platform technologies that will dramatically reduce life-cycle
energy consumption and carbon emissions associated with industrial-scale materials production and processing through the development of technologies for reuse,
recycling, and remanufacturing of materials. Earlier this month, EERE also announced a new pilot program in partnership with the National Institute of Standards
and Technology’s (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) in four states – Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, and Virginia – to provide
small businesses with better access to resources.

17 Governors Sign Accord to Promote Clean Energy, Economic Prosperity

A bipartisan group of 17 governors signed the Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future – a joint commitment to support the deployment of renewable, cleaner and more efficient energy technologies and other solutions to make the U.S. economy more productive and resilient as well as spur job creation in member states. The multi-state effort will work to implement clean energy policies and initiatives in four areas: clean energy, clean transportation choices, a modern electrical grid, and plan for a new energy future. Although the accord doesn’t provide specific efforts, senior advisors to participating governors are expected to convene shortly to discuss initial steps to pursue their shared priorities and commitments according to

‘Greenprint’ Report Highlights Community Colleges’ Role in Clean Economy Workforce Development

While considerable attention has been paid to the growing role of cleantech jobs in the American economy, there has been less of a focus on the skills it takes to pursue these careers. Greenprint: A Plan to Prepare Community College Students for Careers in the Clean Economy, a new report released by The Greenforce Initiative, a partnership between the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and Jobs for the Future, provides recommendations on how education can help students can gain better access to clean economy jobs, strengthen communities, and address environmental impacts.

White House, Partners Announce $4B Commitment to Spur Clean Energy Impact Investments

During a Clean Energy Investment Summit, the White House announced a $4 billion commitment by major foundations, institutional investors, and others to fund innovative solutions to help fight climate change, including technologies with breakthrough potential to reduce carbon pollution. The commitment of $4 billion doubled the initial $2 billion goal set at the launch of the administration’s Clean Energy Investment Initiative last February.

Hawaii Sets 100 Percent Renewable Energy Goal by 2045

Hawai’i Gov. David Ige signed into law a bill (HB 623) that would increases the state’s renewable portfolio standards to 30 percent by the end of 2020; 70 percent by the end of 2040; and, 100 percent by the end of 2045. With the passage of the new renewable energy mandate, the state became the first in the country to have a statewide renewable goal of 100 percent. This marks a drastic shift from the state’s current distinction as the country’s most oil-dependent state. The state spends nearly $5 billion a year on foreign oil, according to a release from the governor’s office. Luis Salaveria, director of the Hawai’i Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, hopes that the new mandate will drive investment and make the state a more attractive destination for entrepreneurs and businesses from around the world, looking to develop, test, and prove emerging renewable technologies and strategies. The state is on track to reach its first milestone of 30 percent by the end of 2020 due previous state investments intended to support the growth of solar and wind startups. Read the press release…

DOE Combines Three Programs Into New $45M Program for Disruptive Solar Technologies

The Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced that it will combine three existing programs (Incubator, SolarMat, and SUNPATH) into the Sunshot Technology to Market Program – a new funding program to support startups and other for-profit organizations as they bring disruptive solar innovations to the market place. Historically, the three programs that comprise the new program were separated by stage of technology development. In the interest of optimizing the application and selection process, the new program will focus on disruptive solar technologies at all stages of development and offer six tiers based on the type of product (hardware or non-hardware) and product maturity. Concept papers are due Feb 24; applications are due Apr 22. For more information, read the announcement (DE-FOA-0001225)…


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