February 12, 2021 By Ramona du Houx On February 11, 2021, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $100 million in funding via the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to support transformational low-carbon energy technologies. The ARPA-E announcement invites experts across the country to submit proposals for funding to support early-stage research into potentially disruptive energy technologies, specifically encouraging inter-disciplinary […]
On February 11, 2021, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $100 million in funding via the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to support transformational low-carbon energy technologies. The ARPA-E announcement invites experts across the country to submit proposals for funding to support early-stage research into potentially disruptive energy technologies, specifically encouraging inter-disciplinary approaches and collaboration across sectors.
The announcement is designed to kickstart the creation of new jobs, technology, and tools that empower the United States to innovate and lead the world in addressing the climate crisis.
“We are inviting scientists, inventors, entrepreneurs and creative thinkers across America to join us in developing the clean energy technologies we need to tackle the climate crisis and build a new more equitable clean energy economy,” said DOE Chief of Staff Tarak Shah. “The Department of Energy is committed to empowering innovators to think boldly and create the cutting-edge technologies that will usher in our clean energy future and create millions of good-paying jobs.”
Since its founding in 2009, ARPA-E has provided USD 2.4 billion in research and development funding. The University of Maine’s ground breaking offshore floating wind technology, VolturnUS, got a boost from this funding during the recession. ARPA-E projects have attracted more than USD 4.9 billion in private-sector follow-on funding to commercialize clean energy technologies — creating sustainable clean energy jobs. Other ARPA-E awardees have helped in the development of transformative solar, a Maine offshore underwater wind turbine (ORPC), geothermal, batteries, advanced surface coating technologies and biofuels.
“On behalf of the House of Representatives, I applaud this vital investment in the transformative and resilient clean energy technologies of the future,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “This exciting step is a key pillar of the Democratic Congress and Biden-Harris Administration’s mission to not only reverse the recent anti-science, anti-climate agenda but to Build Back Better – while creating millions of good-paying jobs, protecting public health, advancing America’s preeminence in the green technologies of the future and advancing justice for all.”
More about the new Climate Innovation Working Group—
The new Climate Innovation Working Group is part of the National Climate Task Force for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Climate (ARPA-C). The working group will help coordinate and strengthen federal government-wide efforts to foster affordable, technologies that can help America achieve the goal of net zero economy-wide emissions by 2050. The working group will be co-chaired by the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy, Office of Science of Technology and Policy, and Office of Management and Budget.
In addition to supporting technologies that are near commercialization, the Climate Innovation Working Group will also emphasize research to bolster and build critical clean energy supply chains in the United States and strengthen American manufacturing.
As it coordinates climate innovation across the federal government, it will focus on programs at land-grant universities, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and other minority-serving institutions.
“We are tapping into the imagination, talent, and grit of America’s innovators, scientists, and workers to spearhead a national effort that empowers the United States to lead the world in tackling the climate crisis,” said Gina McCarthy, President Biden’s National Climate Advisor. “At the same time, we are positioning America to create good-paying, union jobs in a just and equitable way in communities across the nation that will be at the forefront of new manufacturing for clean energy and new technology, tools, and infrastructure that will help us adapt to a changing climate.”
The long and short of it is, this is a comprehensive task group dedicated across all areas of government to advance clean energy technology research and its build out, jobs and a just transition.
“Today is an important day for tackling the climate crisis through cutting-edge science, technology, and innovation. The Office of Science and Technology Policy is ready to help turbocharge climate-related innovation, and we look forward to engaging with scientists, engineers, students, and innovators all across America to build a future in which not only jobs and economic benefits but also opportunities to participate in climate innovation are shared equitably by all Americans,” said Kei Koizumi, Acting Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Key planks the Climate Innovation Working Group will help advance:
zero net carbon buildings at zero net cost, including carbon-neutral construction materials;
energy storage at one-tenth the cost of today’s alternatives;
advanced energy system management tools to plan for and operate a grid powered by zero carbon power plants;
very low-cost zero carbon on-road vehicles and transit systems;
new, sustainable fuels for aircraft and ships, as well as improvements in broader aircraft and ship efficiency and transportation management;
affordable refrigeration, air conditioning, and heat pumps made without refrigerants that warm the planet;
carbon-free heat and industrial processes that capture emissions for making steel, concrete, chemicals, and other important industrial products;
carbon-free hydrogen at a lower cost than hydrogen made from polluting alternatives;
innovative soil management, plant biologies, and agricultural techniques to remove carbon dioxide from the air and store it in the ground;
direct air capture systems and retrofits to existing industrial and power plant exhausts to capture carbon dioxide and use it to make alternative products or permanently sequester it deep underground.