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Decarbonizing U.S. Manufacturing; DOE announces $42.3M investment

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Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a $42.3 million funding opportunity and new pilot projects for the American manufacturing sector. Accordingly, this investment will help reduce carbon emissions across the economy; and, similarly, improve the country’s economic competitiveness.

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About the initiatives- The Future of Manufacturing

In this way, DOE is launching two new initiatives as part of its weeklong “Future of Manufacturing” campaign. The first one consists of spurring innovations to achieve cleaner and more efficient manufacturing.

Therefore, DOE will invest $42.3 million to support manufacturing innovations for high-performance clean energy technologies. As a result, this initiative is expected to drive economy-wide reductions in carbon emissions.

Accordingly, these economy-wide reductions include next-generation manufacturing processes that improve energy efficiency; and also reduce the carbon footprint of energy-intensive industries.

Similarly, the development of materials that improve the energy efficiency of manufacturing processes and resulting products. And lastly, improving the systems and methods for how energy is stored, converted, and used; for instance, including manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries to support electric vehicles.

The second initiative

The second initiative consists of testing clean, cutting-edge technologies in real-world conditions. Therefore, DOE selected five private-sector partners to each receive approximately $300,000 worth of DOE technical assistance.

As a result, these partners will test clean, efficient technologies in real-world industrial environments. According to DOE, “these Industrial Technology Validation projects will accelerate the adoption of cost-effective, emerging technologies that can help decarbonize the industrial sector.”

Besides, the department will fund experts led by U.S. National Laboratories to design measurement and verification plans; conduct on-site testing and draft field validation reports.

In fact, DOE underscored in a media release that the industrial sector contributed 23% of all greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. Therefore, decarbonizing U.S. industries is a crucial step toward meeting President Biden’s goal of a carbon-neutral economy by 2050. 

Reception

Accordingly, Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said in a statement following this investment announcement; “Manufacturing is at the heart of the American economy; therefore, providing good-paying jobs and creating the products that we rely on in our everyday lives.”

Moreover, she continued, “with these investments, the Department of Energy is helping reestablish U.S. manufacturing leadership; indeed, while scaling up the technologies needed to reduce our collective carbon footprint and address climate change.”

Worth noting, taken together, the new initiatives announced throughout the week amount to roughly $130 million in funding.

These projects will be led by DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, part of DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Particularly, this office invests in manufacturers, not-for-profit entities, research organizations, and higher education institutions. Accordingly, it helps these actors identify challenges, catalyze innovations; and also develop the cutting-edge material needed for an efficient and competitive domestic manufacturing sector.

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