On March 8th, the United States Department of Energy announced that it is making $6 billion of grants available to developers of technologies that will reduce carbon emissions from energy-intensive industries. The program is authorized and funded under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, and represents another example of the government largesse hitting the streets under those statutes.
While solutions to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are fairly well known and on their way to commercialization in the electric generation and transportation sectors, the industrial sector is a different story. The energy-intensive nature of manufacturing and other industrial operations, and the need for reliable energy sources to prevent disruptions, makes them more difficult to decarbonize. But the need to reduce GHG emissions from this sector is real - based on 2020 modeling data, the Department of Energy estimates that the industrial sector accounts for about 33% of the nation's primary energy use, and around 30% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.
The program will make available approximately $6 billion in federal funds for projects that validate low-GHG emitting industrial facilities capable of manufacturing products with reduced carbon footprints. The program targets projects in the iron, steel, steel mill products, aluminum, cement, concrete, glass, pulp, paper, industrial ceramics, chemicals, and other energy intensive industrial processes. Funds will be made available for new facilities, large-scale overhauls for existing facilities, or upgrades, retrofits, and operational improvements within a unit operation or a process line at an existing facility.
To apply for the funding, a concept paper must be submitted to the Department of Energy by April 21, 2023. Full applications are due by August 4th, 2023. DOE will hold an informational webinar in May 2023 (date and time TBD). The full funding opportunity announcement is here.