Energy Department announces new office for renewable demonstration projects
The Energy Department on Tuesday announced a new office devoted to renewable energy demonstration projects, funded by the recently signed bipartisan infrastructure law.
The law, which Biden signed in November, provides $20 billion for the creation of the office, which will fund demonstration project for technologies such as carbon capture and renewable hydrogen. The funds come from a broader $62 billion pot to speed up renewable energy development within the department.
“Thanks to the investments Congress made in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations will move clean energy technologies out of the lab and into local and regional economies across the country, proving the value of technologies that can deliver for communities, businesses, and markets,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.
According to a fact sheet released by the Energy Department in November, the renewable funds in the infrastructure law include $8 billion for renewable hydrogen, $10 billion for carbon capture and direct air capture, $2.5 billion for nuclear technology and $1 billion for demonstration projects in rural communities.
“This new Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations reflects President Biden’s commitment to help Americans turn on the lights in their homes, drive to work, and power their businesses using clean, affordable, and sustainable energy. This office will make life easier and safer for Americans all across the country,” said Mitch Landrieu, the White House’s coordinator for implementation of the infrastructure bill.
Renewable energy is a major prong in the Biden administration’s goal of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Granholm announced in March that the department will restart an Obama-era loan program for renewable energy companies. While Republicans sharply criticized the program’s loan to Solyndra, a solar energy firm that would later collapse, Granholm has pointed to another beneficiary of the program, Tesla, which later fully paid back the loan.
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