dept of energy

$2.8B announced for manufacturing EV batteries and grid

In a move to strengthen the domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), announced $2.8 billion for 20 companies in 12 states to extract and process battery materials and manufacture components while creating good-paying jobs. The projects will be funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will be matched by recipients to leverage more than $9 billion for the production of clean energy.

Five things to know about the Inflation Reduction Act

President Joe Biden has signed the Inflation Reduction Act, a $740-billion bill that largely focuses on clean energy and climate resiliency, deficit reduction and health care, funded through tax changes. Unlike the initial proposals for a reconciliation spending package, this legislation provides little spending that will directly affect tech-based economic development strategies, although its climate provisions will spur significant growth opportunities for cleantech. There are multiple provisions and opportunities included in the act that are important for regions to understand.

Senate hearing addresses $8 billion for clean hydrogen R&D hubs

This week, the Senate energy committee discussed new funding for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) implementation of hydrogen research and development projects using funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The infrastructure act provides DOE with $8 billion to create four regional clean hydrogen hubs, as well as $1 billion for clean hydrogen electrolysis demonstration projects and $500 million for R&D on the manufacturing processes and recycling methods for clean hydrogen development. During the hearing, witnesses spoke to the importance of innovation for helping to drive down costs while creating economic opportunities, and a DOE representative announced a forthcoming request for information (RFI) on the programs.

Massive House innovation bill would fund semiconductor incentives, create tech hubs, NSF directorate

Earlier this week, House Democrats released its version of a wide-ranging innovation policy bill. This legislation includes authorization for Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs — a program SSTI’s Dan Berglund testified about before the House science committee last June. The bill also would establish a new directorate within the National Science Foundation (NSF), reauthorize the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Department of Energy (Energy) Office of Science, and fund incentives for U.S.-based semiconductor manufacturing.

$60M investment from DOE to increase energy efficiency in manufacturing goes to 32 Industrial Assessment Centers

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $60 million in funding for its largest-ever cohort of university-based Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs) to assist small- and medium-sized manufacturers in reducing their carbon emissions and lowering energy costs. The new cohort of IACs at 32 universities will focus on improving productivity, enhancing cybersecurity, promoting resiliency planning, and providing trainings to entities located in disadvantaged communities. As part of a new pilot project, some of the IACs will expand to the commercial building market and partner with community colleges and technical programs to train diverse students and professionals to conduct energy-efficiency assessments of small to medium-sized buildings, including those located in disadvantaged communities.  

DOE awards over $65M to commercialize promising energy technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced over $30 million in federal funding, matched by over $35 million in private sector funds, for 68 projects that will accelerate the commercialization of promising energy technologies. The awards are expected to help transfer solutions from the National Labs to the marketplace and work toward the president’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

National Solar Jobs Census finds increase in productivity, dip in employment for 2020

The United States solar industry experienced a 6.7 percent drop in total employment during 2020, a reflection of the difficulties that the COVID-19 pandemic caused in some parts of the manufacturing and construction sectors. Despite these challenges, the 2020 National Solar Jobs Census, released by the Solar Energy Industries Association, notes that the industry installed a record level of solar equipment throughout 2020 while also reaching new highs in most measures of diversity. As the sector continues to grow, the Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office has issued two requests for information surrounding the solar industry.

Energy provides $123 million for manufacturing innovation projects

The U.S. Department of Energy announced more than $123 million across 46 awards to projects supporting manufacturing innovation. About half of the funds are going to efficiency improvements in manufacturing processes, with the remainder split between improving chemical manufacturing and supporting more efficient facilities and systems. SSTI members included among the project awardees include Argonne National Lab, Sandia National Lab, University of Cincinnati, University of Michigan, and the University of Tennessee. More information on the program and individual awards are available through the department’s Advanced Manufacturing Office.

Innovation bills pass Congress at end of session

Near the end of 2020, Congress passed the FY 2021 defense authorization (overriding a presidential veto) and folded multiple policy bills into the joint appropriations and coronavirus relief bill. This legislation includes new authorizations for semiconductor research facilities, clean and renewable energy innovation, and new studies of assets for critical research areas.

$1 billion awarded for 12 quantum information services and artificial intelligence research institutes

Over $1 billion has been awarded for the creation of 12 new quantum information services (QIS) and artificial intelligence (AI) research institutes across the country over the course of the next five years, according to an announcement from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Science Foundation. With this investment, the White House hopes the newly created institutes will “spur cutting edge innovation, support regional economic growth, and advance American leadership in these critical industries of the future.”


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