Strengthening place-based innovation ecosystems: DOE opens request for information

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) requests input from stakeholders on place-based innovation activities leveraging research institutions, such as (but not limited to) DOE’s national laboratories and sites. Feedback collected as part of this RFI will inform DOE’s future program planning and development efforts. The RFI is an opportunity to provide input on how DOE can catalyze and sustain place-based ecosystems across the country.

DOE encourages 33 groups to proceed on hydrogen hubs

This past December, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sent out letters of encouragement, or discouragement, to applicants in the competition for up to $7 billion in federal funding to support the development of regional hydrogen hubs. Of the 79 original applicants, 33 were advised to move forward with writing a full application. The DOE has not released a list of the groups that were encouraged to submit a full proposal but did allow the groups to announce their status on their own.

$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.

New DOE efforts promote equitability and inclusion in science research

The Department of Energy’s Office of Science recently announced new requirements for all research proposal applications. Applicants must submit a plan for Promoting Inclusive and Equitable Research — or PIER Plan — with their research proposal during the solicitation process. The PIER Plans will be required beginning in FY 2023 and will require investigators to describe strategies to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in all research projects. Larger research teams will be expected to provide more detailed PIER Plans. A new merit review criterion will evaluate these PIER Plans during the peer review process.

DOE announces intended funding for hydrogen hubs across the nation

Recently, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) announced its intention to release a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) in collaboration with the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office within the year. This FOA, titled “Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs” or “H2Hubs” will outline funding phases to promote the expansion of clean hydrogen energy and aid in the development of at least four clean hydrogen hubs throughout the U.S.

New DOE organizational structure hopes to increase efficiency of clean energy investments

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced a new organizational structure in response to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Energy Act of 2020. The new organizational structure intends to facilitate the implementation of clean energy investments from these new laws more efficiently and introduces two new leadership positions: the undersecretary for infrastructure and the undersecretary for science and innovation. The undersecretary for infrastructure will also lead three new offices: the Grid Infrastructure Office, the State and Community Energy Program, and the Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains.

EERE report outlines stakeholder recommendations for increasing inclusivity in clean energy

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.

New DOE clean energy office to oversee $20B in investments, new tech developments

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the establishment of a new Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations that will support projects in areas including clean hydrogen, carbon capture, grid-scale energy storage, small modular reactors, and more. The recently-signed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides $21.5 billion in funding for the office’s administration and projects through 2026.

Dept. of Energy tech licenses now subject to expanded domestic manufacturing requirements

Technologies that are developed from the Department of Energy’s R&D are now required to be substantially manufactured in America. The requirement was developed in response to President Joe Biden’s executive order that all agencies review their policies related to supply chain vulnerabilities. The rule change takes the domestic manufacturing preference that is in place currently only for exclusive licenses for products sold/used in the U.S. and applies it by default to all Energy licenses from Oct. 1 on.

DOE seeks input on creation of new Clean Energy Manufacturing Institute

The U.S. Department of Energy announced a request for information (RFI) to help inform the creation of a new Clean Energy Manufacturing Institute focused on industrial decarbonization. Released by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the RFI seeks input from stakeholders in identifying key opportunities to decarbonize energy-intensive sectors across America’s economy through public-private collaboration.


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