Biden Administration Offers Funding to Support Clean Energy Projects in High-Emission Industries

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm holds press briefing at the White House in Washington. Lady wearing red and black in the WH Press Room

(Credit: White House)

by | Mar 9, 2023

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm holds press briefing at on High-Emission Industries. Lady wearing red and black in the WH Press Room Biden Administration

(Credit: White House)

The US government has announced that it will provide $6 billion in funding to support decarbonization projects in industries that are responsible for almost 25% of US greenhouse gas emissions. These high-emission industries include steel, aluminum, and cement production, as well as the manufacturing of chemicals, ceramics, and paper.

The Industrial Demonstrations Program will offer competitive grants to technology developers, universities, industry, and other groups, covering up to 50% of project costs aimed at reducing emissions from both new and existing facilities. The program forms part of President Joe Biden’s commitment to achieving a carbon-free US economy by 2050.

Further, the US Department of Energy (DOE) has stated that the program’s aim is to support decarbonization technologies that can be scaled up, as well as to reduce pollution and boost American manufacturing’s competitiveness. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is allocating $430 million to the program and the Inflation Reduction Act is providing $5.46 billion to support the initiative.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm stated that the program’s focus on decarbonization technologies is still being developed, but the DOE is hoping to fund projects that offer scalable and replicable solutions. Environmental groups have praised the funding’s allocation and urged the DOE to direct at least 40% of the funds to facilities near communities affected by heavy industry’s environmental and social impacts.

Jennifer M. Granholm is the 16th Secretary of Energy, leading the Department of Energy’s efforts to promote clean energy technologies and achieve President Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Prior to her current role, she served two terms as Governor of Michigan, where she successfully diversified the state’s economy and added emerging sectors such as clean energy. She also served as Michigan’s Attorney General and a federal prosecutor in Detroit. Granholm is a Distinguished Professor of Practice at the University of California, Berkeley, and an honors graduate of both UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School.

Concept papers expressing interest in the grants must be submitted by April 21, with full applications due by August 4, according to the DOE. The funding could offer a unique opportunity to modernize American primary steel manufacturing, decrease harmful pollution, and generate jobs, said Hilary Lewis, Steel Director at Industrious Labs, a non-profit organization focused on the energy transition. The steel industry could fall behind in the green steel race without investment today.

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