$6B Granted for Record US Decarbonization Effort


The U.S. Department of Energy has announced $6 billion in funding for 33 projects across the United States to decarbonize energy-intensive industries, reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions, revitalize industrial communities and strengthen manufacturing competitiveness.

The new project is part of President Joe Biden’s Investing in America Agenda and will include $489 million from the bipartisan infrastructure law and $5.47 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act.

About the Investment

Along with creating new jobs, the effort is expected to help move the commercial-scale demonstration of emerging industrial decarbonization technologies that are important for meeting the administration's climate and domestic manufacturing goals. 

The projects are expected to focus on the highest emitting industries where decarbonization technologies have the largest impact. This effort is expected to help reduce over 14 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year, which is equivalent to the annual emissions of 3 million gasoline-powered cars.

The DOE’s release states that many of the projects will deploy first-in-the-nation, emissions-reducing technologies that have the potential for sector-wide adoption, increasing the scale of emissions cuts and supporting future manufacturing efforts.

The announcement is reportedly the largest investment in industrial decarbonization in the country’s history, working to position manufacturers and workers to get a head start in the global clean energy economy. 

“Spurring on the next generation of decarbonization technologies in key industries like steel, paper, concrete, and glass will keep America the most competitive nation on Earth,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm.

“Thanks to President Biden’s industrial strategy, DOE is making the largest investment in industrial decarbonization in the history of the United States. These investments will slash emissions from these difficult-to-decarbonize sectors and ensure American businesses and American workers remain at the forefront of the global economy.”

As part of President Biden’s efforts to build an equitable and inclusive clean energy future, each project will reportedly develop and implement a comprehensive Community Benefits Plan to aid in community and labor engagement.

At the moment, almost 80% of the projects are reportedly located in disadvantaged communities, as defined by President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, offering a larger opportunity to invest in good jobs and clean air in communities that have been hurt by years of divestment.

According to the release, the industrial sector produces almost one-third of the nation’s overall GHG emissions. This federal investment is expected to be matched by the selected projects to use over $20 billion in total for commercial-scale decarbonization solutions that could move the industrial sector toward net-zero emissions.

Funded projects will reportedly work to cut emissions by an average of 77%. The industrial sector’s decarbonization challenges will reportedly need similar decarbonization solutions that utilize multiple pathways like energy efficiency, electrification and alternative fuels, as well as feedstocks like clean hydrogen.

The projects announced are reportedly a part of the Industrial Demonstrations Program, managed by the DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, and should help strengthen the country’s manufacturing and industrial competitiveness.

The 33 projects selected for award negotiations are meant to represent difficult-to-decarbonize industries, including:

  • Chemicals and Refining—The seven selected chemicals and refining projects plan to demonstrate opportunities to upcycle captured carbon to value-added products, create high-quality fuels and materials from recycled products, and replace fossil-fired, high-heat processes with decarbonized fuels;
  • Cement and Concrete—The six selected cement and concrete projects plan to develop new pathways for making traditional Portland cement with lower or zero emissions and to pioneer new materials and new mixtures that can drive the sector to zero emissions;
  • Iron and Steel—The six selected iron and steel projects plan to help decarbonize iron and steelmaking and enable the industry to phase out more traditional carbon-intensive production methods that rely on coal, also creating products like high grades of steel for the automotive industry;
  • Aluminum and Metals—The five selected aluminum and metals projects include a major capital injection to decarbonize and revitalize the U.S. primary aluminum industry along with recycling approaches for both aluminum and copper. This includes creating recycled aluminum for the food and beverage industry and copper for semiconductors and electric vehicles.
  • Food and Beverage—The three selected food and beverage projects will demonstrate highly replicable energy efficiency and electrification solutions for low- to medium-temperature process heat across 16 locations. It will reportedly increase awareness around embodied emissions by decarbonizing products consumed every day like ice cream, ketchup and BBQ sauce;
  • Glass—The three selected glass projects plan to validate electric/fuel hybrid furnaces producing low-emission glass bottles, tableware, and food packaging;
  • Process Heat—These two projects plan to validate the use of electric boilers and electric steam production to reduce emissions associated with process heating across a wide range of industries; and
  • Pulp and Paper—The one selected pulp and paper project aims to improve energy efficiency by using a novel membrane for an important separations process instead of heat.

All 33 projects selected for award negotiations can be found here.

As part of its commitments to advance environmental and energy justice, each project was also reportedly required to develop and ultimately implement a comprehensive Community Benefits Plan.

This plan will reportedly be informed by community and labor engagements in each region. Applicants were reportedly required to describe how their proposals would benefit the greatest number of people in a facility’s location.

To begin the ongoing engagement around these projects, OCED plans to have a series of national and regional virtual briefings for information on the selected projects, as well as to introduce OCED’s approach to clean energy demonstrations.

The selection for award negotiations is reportedly not a commitment by the DOE to issue an award or provide funding. Before funding is issued, the DOE and the selected applicants will reportedly go through a negotiation process, and the DOE may cancel negotiations and rescind the selection for any reason during that time.

Additionally, lead applicants may reportedly change during the award negotiations process.

If awarded, the OCED will look at these projects through a phased approach to project management that would include “go/no-go” decision points between each project phase where the DOE reviews and evaluates implementation progress.


Tagged categories: Aluminum; Carbon dioxide; Coatings manufacturers; concrete; Emissions; Environmental Control; Environmental Controls; Environmental Protection; Equipment manufacturers; Funding; Government; Grants; Greenhouse gas; Health & Safety; Health and safety; Jobs; Metals; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Safety; Steel; U.S. Department of Energy

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