Energy Department announces $76 million toward carbon capture, industrial assessment centers
The Department of Energy in recent days announced two major initiatives that will put more than $75 million in projects that seek to make industry more efficient and advance carbon capture technology.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced $52.5 million toward industrial assessment centers (IACs), which use federal funds to research energy conservation in industrial settings.
“These programs are proof that big climate investments can help small businesses reduce their emissions and increase their efficiency, while saving them thousands of dollars,” Granholm said in a statement. “This new funding is an investment in both the infrastructure and next-generation clean energy workforce we need to tackle the climate emergency and meet President Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
The department said in a statement it expects to name between 25 and 35 universities as IACs. As part of the initiative, the government intends to pilot a program broadening IAC use in underserved communities.
“Applicants are encouraged to propose training partnerships with technical programs or community colleges that create new opportunities for a diverse mix of students, of all education levels,” the announcement states.
In a separate announcement, dated Friday, the department announced it will put $24 million toward research into carbon capture technology, which it said is also vital to reach the 2050 target.
The department said it will make the funding available to universities, nonprofits, national laboratories and industry through the department’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences.
“Research teams across the country, including my home state of Arizona, are leading the way on developing carbon capture technology, and their groundbreaking progress has been bolstered by Department of Energy grants,” Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.) said in a statement. “This additional investment will spur new innovation and jobs in communities throughout the country. This funding will support projects with transformative potential to expand an entire green industry focused on decreasing emissions, improving energy efficiency, and ultimately making our air cleaner.”
Granholm expressed support for still-nascent carbon capture technology in her confirmation hearing before the Senate last month as GOP members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee grilled her on how the Biden administration’s energy agenda will affect the fossil fuel industry.
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) in particular questioned whether the jobs such investments could create would materialize quickly enough to benefit fossil fuel workers.
“If you’ve lost a job that is putting food on your table now, it’s cold comfort to know that years from now, in a different state, perhaps with a different training … there will be another job available,” Cassidy said in January.
Granholm, the former governor of Michigan, responded that “when we provided incentives for job providers to locate in Michigan in clean energy … they came.”