NYC Launches Green Energy Action Plan

Leaders within the largest city in the United States, and one of the most influential in the world, recognize the daunting challenges resulting from New York City’s vulnerability to climate change—evidenced already in violent storms, flooding, and rising sea levels—as well as the economic opportunity that comes in combating the negative impacts of that change and reducing the city’s contributions to further temperature rise. As a result, it should not surprise Digest readers that the Green Economy Action Plan released by New York City Mayor Eric Adams on February 28 is saturated with innovation and TBED-centered initiatives.

A new report finds that state agencies face challenges when soliciting Justice40 projects from historically underserved areas

A new report finds that state agencies face challenges when working to implement Justice40 goals. Justice40 is an initiative included in President Biden’s Executive Order 14008, signed on January 27, 2021. The initiative laid out the goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. The order stipulated that government agencies consult with disadvantaged communities to find the best ways to achieve this goal.

Externalities, energy, and the internet

Data center technology processing passed the milestone of consuming 1% of world energy in 2010 and is projected to increase to 6% by 2030, according to a 2020 Science magazine study  by Eric Masanet, Arman Shehabi, Nuoa Lei, Sarah Smith, and Jonathan Koomey. The authors suggest that governments may need to take on a more considered approach to expanding data centers to meet the growing demand. State and local economic developers offering incentives to recruit data centers may want to take particular note. The non-captured costs, or externalities, of information processing hubs are mounting as the pace of human-induced climate change increases.    

DOE funds 15 projects for the development of long-duration energy storage (LDES) technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced up to $325 million for 15 projects to accelerate the development of long-duration energy storage (LDES) technologies. These demonstration projects will increase community control of local power systems, mitigate risks associated with disruptions to the grid, and help communities develop reliable and affordable energy systems. These projects will help DOE realize its Long Duration Storage Shot goal of reducing the cost of LDES by 90% by 2030 and will advance critical clean energy technologies, expand the adoption of renewable energy resources, and strengthen energy security.   

3D printing could catapult US manufacturing

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, has so far been used for simple construction. In this process, a computer creates three-dimensional objects by depositing materials, usually in layers. But now, the National Institute for Standards in Technology (NIST) is working to unlock additive manufacturing’s potential. For example, earlier this year, NIST researchers worked with polyelectrolyte complexes (PECs), resins with properties useful in fire protection, food packaging, drug delivery, insulation, and more. The scientists incorporated a technique that uses light to solidify a liquid resin, layer by layer, into a three-dimensional design.

Strong winds forecast to bring low-cost energy and good-paying jobs

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released three 2023 annual reports showing that wind power is one of the fastest growing and lowest cost sources of electricity in America and is poised for rapid growth. DOE reports that wind energy provided 10% of total electricity nationwide with wind making up more than 60% of Iowa’s power and over 40% in Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota. New utility-scale land-based wind generation capacity added in 2022 was the equivalent of powering 2.5 million American homes. Offshore wind energy projects under development and currently operating could power over 18 million American homes.

New York shuts down fossil fuel crypto infrastructure

New York became the first state to enact a temporary ban on new cryptocurrency mining permits at fossil fuel plants in a move aimed at addressing the environmental concerns over the energy-intensive activity. The legislation, signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul, will impose a two-year moratorium on crypto-mining companies seeking new permits to retrofit some of the state’s oldest fossil fuel plants into digital mining operations. The measure also requires New York to study the industry’s impact on the state’s efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

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.

Energy storage startup with government-sponsored funding goes public

ESS Inc., a company that closed a deal to go public earlier this month, was able to leverage public capital at its early stages to accelerate its success as a startup. Founded in 2011, the Wilsonville, Oregon, based company manufactures batteries for long-duration energy storage applications. In 2012, ESS Inc. received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from ARPA-E, and additional grant support from the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI), an SSTI member. ONAMI is an Oregon-based non-profit that provides grants, equity funding and business development guidance to startups engaged in research-based scientific innovation. It receives funding from Business Oregon, also an SSTI member.

Report outlines steps for US to improve its competitiveness in basic energy sciences

The supremacy of the U.S. research enterprise has been eroding, particularly challenged by China and other Asian countries, and a new draft report from the Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (BESAC) at the Department of Energy (DOE) concludes that U.S. leadership in basic energy sciences will continue to diminish without intervention. Specifically, the report finds that to stay internationally competitive in basic energy sciences the U.S. must: increase total funding for R&D, spanning from basic and fundamental research to experimental development; focus multi-disciplinary research on several key areas of energy sciences; increase the nation’s ability to attract and retain the world’s top scientists and engineers; and, facilitate interactions among basic, applied, and industrial researchers to accelerate the translation of research into socially beneficial technologies.


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