The Department of Energy Invests in a Greener Manufacturing Future
From day one, two key messages from the Biden Administration have focused on the environment and manufacturing. Now, through a series of Department of Energy (DOE) investments, the administration is making strides on both these fronts. The DOE recently announced a $60 million investment aimed at promoting carbon reduction and energy efficiency in the manufacturing sector. It’s the latest investment in a series, and it stands to benefit small-to-medium-sized producers — the backbone of the domestic manufacturing sector.
The DOE’s $60M investment
The main goal of the DOE’s $60 million investment is removing barriers hindering decarbonization within manufacturing. It will help fund work through the DOE’s university-based Industrial Assessment Centers program, which provides small- and medium-sized manufacturers with free energy assessments conducted by university students. These assessments help manufacturers reduce their carbon emissions and lower energy costs by identifying opportunities for improving energy efficiency. In fact, most of these assessments end up finding approximately $130,000 in annual savings opportunities per company.
“DOE’s university-based Industrial Assessment Centers are assisting small- and medium-sized businesses — particularly those in disadvantaged and underrepresented communities — in the transition to a clean energy economy, building the next-generation energy workforce, and propelling America toward a carbon-free future by 2050,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, of the program. Participating universities include West Virginia University, Michigan State University, the Colorado School of Mines, and many more.
Fulfilling administrative promises
This investment falls in line with several sustainability goals set by the administration — another of which aims to reach clean energy net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by 2050. While there’s still a long way to go, this investment in decarbonizing the manufacturing sector is a significant step in the right direction. It also aligns with the administration’s promises to “pursue a historic investment in clean energy innovation” and “achieve a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035.”
The latest in a series of green investments
The DOE’s investment is just one in a series of recent investments promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency in the manufacturing sector.
The DOE also recently announced an investment of $52.5 million for projects to move the next generation of clean hydrogen technologies forward. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm also commented on this project, saying, “These projects will put us one step closer to unlocking the scientific advancements needed to create a strong domestic supply chain and good-paying jobs in the emerging clean hydrogen industry.”
Another recent investment by the DOE provided $127 million worth of grants for smaller businesses working on energy innovation in fields including renewable energy, carbon management, and fusion energy. More than 100 small businesses received grants as part of the program, and two of those companies — North Carolina-based Susteon and Washington-based Emissol — are working on projects for removing carbon dioxide from the air.
Paving the way for a greener manufacturing future
The recent investments made by the DOE are putting a greener manufacturing future within reach. The $60 million investment in decarbonization is especially promising for reducing carbon emissions and lowering energy costs. A greener manufacturing future is better for the planet and likely to create more jobs. A renewable energy future is on the horizon, and the manufacturing industry stands to benefit and even — with continued investment and support — lead the way.