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.

$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 $9.5 million to support clean energy innovation, commercialization

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that 10 accelerators and incubators across the country have been awarded $9.5 million in total funding through the Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) to help develop pipelines for energy technology to reach the market. Created by the DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions, the EPIC funding program aims to encourage the growth of regional energy innovation ecosystems across the U.S. and supports new business formation. This announcement marks the second round of funding through the EPIC program, with the first awarding $500,000 each to 20 incubators and accelerators in October of 2020 to support energy innovation ecosystems and stimulate energy hardware development in regions across the country.

DOE seeking manufacturing productivity proposals, feedback on barriers to funding

The U.S. Department of Energy is seeking public feedback on the current barriers and actions needed to make its funding opportunities and innovation and entrepreneurship activities more inclusive, just and equitable, and, in a separate effort, it is seeking input on improving productivity and efficiency of the manufacturing sector through a $4.8 million request for proposals.


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