Department of Energy issues Notice of Intent to Fund Applied Research and Development Projects to Drive Industrial Decarbonization

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy recently announced its intent to issue a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) that will advance high impact applied research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) projects to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the U.S. industrial sector. The FOA, led by EERE’s Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office (IEDO), will drive innovation to develop the next-generation technologies required to decarbonize industry and move the U.S. towards a clean energy economy for all Americans. 

Decarbonizing the industrial sector is critical to achieving the nation’s climate goals. In 2020, the industrial sector accounted for 33% of the nation’s primary energy use and 30% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. However, the industrial sector is considered one of the most difficult to decarbonize due to the diversity and complexity of energy inputs, processes, and operations. Achieving net-zero emissions across the U.S. economy by 2050 will require an aggressive, multidimensional approach to eliminating industrial emissions.  

This upcoming funding opportunity is part of an integrated, industrial decarbonization technology development strategy for DOE’s basic and applied research offices. Rooted in the principles identified in the 2022 Industrial Decarbonization Roadmap, DOE is building an innovation pipeline to accelerate the development and adoption of industrial decarbonization technologies with investments spanning foundational science; research, development, and demonstrations (RD&D); and technical assistance and workforce development. This FOA will also advance the goal of the Industrial Heat Shot™, which aims to develop cost-competitive industrial heat decarbonization technologies with at least 85% lower greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.  

Following on from the Roadmap and the funding opportunity released last September, the FOA will focus on cross-sector approaches to industrial decarbonization and is expected to include the following topics: 

Topic 1: Decarbonizing Industrial Heat — In support of DOE’s Industrial Heat Shot™ this topic will focus on developing equipment to decarbonize thermal processes across the industrial sector, with potential areas of interest including: electrification of industrial heat; innovative low- and no-heat processes, and industrial heat pumps. 

Topic 2: Low-Carbon Fuels Utilization RD&D —This topic will focus on innovations to develop equipment capable of utilizing low-carbon fuels, like hydrogen and hydrogen blends, with potential areas of interest including: mitigating hydrogen combustion impacts on material and product quality; developing hydrogen-based combustion systems; and low-carbon input, flexible combined heat and power (CHP). 

Topic 3: Exploratory Cross-Sector R&D will include emerging R&D areas for technologies and materials that enable industrial decarbonization. 

  • Subtopic 3a: Enabling Flexible Industrial Energy Use — This subtopic will focus on emerging transformational technologies that maintain manufacturing resilience and economic competitiveness while integrating renewable energy into industrial manufacturing processes. Potential areas of interest include industrial load flexibility and thermal energy storage systems. 
  • Subtopic 3b: Enhanced Thermal Conductivity Materials —This subtopic, funded by the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO), will focus on enhanced thermal conductivity materials to improve the performance and efficiency of electrified thermal processing equipment. 

Topic 4: Decarbonizing Chemicals — This topic will focus on decarbonization technologies for high-volume chemicals with significant CO2 emissions, including advanced separations processes, advanced reactor systems, and dynamic catalyst science.  

Topic 5: Decarbonizing Iron and Steel —This topic will focus on decarbonization opportunities in iron and steel production, with potential areas of interest including: innovative manufacturing technologies to enable decarbonization; electrification of existing manufacturing processes; overcoming challenges associated with utilizing hydrogen in steelmaking; and addressing scrap contaminants in recycling. 

Topic 6: Decarbonizing Food and Beverage Products — This topic will focus on low- and zero-carbon solutions for process heating, cooling, and refrigeration in a wide variety of energy-intensive food and beverage operations. 

Topic 7: Decarbonizing Cement and Concrete — This topic will focus on addressing cement’s direct process emissions, with potential areas of interest including: sustainably sourced supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) for clinker substitutions and blended cements; novel decarbonized production processes for Portland cement or lime; novel, low-carbon non-ordinary Portland cement formulations; and CO2 mineralization. 

Topic 8: Decarbonizing Forest Products — This topic will focus on decarbonization opportunities in energy-intensive drying, paper forming, and pulping processes. 

View the full notice of intent.

EERE plans to issue the FOA via EERE Exchange in March 2023. The funding opportunity is expected to include approximately $156 million in federal funding. EERE envisions awarding multiple financial assistance awards in the form of cooperative agreements. The estimated period of performance for each award will be approximately three years. 

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation issues RFP for National Coastal Resilience Fund

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has issued the 2023 Request for Proposals for the National Coastal Resilience Fund (NCRF), which provides grant funding to restore and strengthen “natural coastal infrastructure”—like salt marshes, coral reefs, and beach dunes—that provide a first line of defense for coastal communities and ecosystems from increasing impacts due to rising sea levels and more intense storms.

The National Coastal Resilience Fund invests in projects that benefit coastal communities by reducing threats from coastal hazards (such as rising sea- and lake levels, more intense storms, increasing flooding and erosion, and melting permafrost) to property and key assets, such as hospitals and evacuation routes; and benefit fish and wildlife by enhancing the ecological integrity and functionality of coastal ecosystems.

NFWF also prioritizes projects that address the disproportionate risks faced by communities on the frontlines of climate change and projects that are community-led or incorporate direct community engagement. Award decisions will be made based on regional circumstances and needs, but all proposals must address the following priorities:

Nature-Based Solutions: Projects must focus on identifying or implementing natural, nature-based, or hybrid solutions, such as restoring coastal marshes, reconnecting floodplains, rebuilding dunes or other natural buffers, or installing living shorelines.

Community Resilience Benefit: Projects must show clear benefits in terms of reducing current and projected threats to communities from natural coastal hazards, including, but not limited to: sea-level rise, lake-level change, coastal erosion, increased frequency and intensity of storms, and impacts from other chronic or episodic factors (e.g., nuisance flooding during high tides, permafrost melt). 

Fish and Wildlife Benefit: Projects must help to improve habitats for fish and wildlife species. Proposals should be as specific as possible in identifying the anticipated benefits to habitats and species resulting from the proposed project.

Priority will be given to projects demonstrating community impact and engagement, innovation, transferability, and sustainability. 

Eligible applicants include nonprofit 501(c) organizations, state and territorial government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, Tribal governments and organizations, educational institutions, or commercial (for-profit) organizations. Tribal governments include all Native American tribal governments (both federally recognized tribes and those tribes that are not federally recognized). 

Pre-proposals are due April 12, 2023. Upon review, selected applicants will be invited to submit full proposals, due June 28, 2023. 

View the full RFP.

Why Greta Thunberg is protesting wind farms in Norway

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

When Swedish climate advocate Greta Thunberg and other activists protested at several Norwegian government ministries this week, they weren’t demonstrating against new petroleum refineries or tax incentives for Big Oil. Instead, they were standing against wind farms, often seen as a key tool in fighting climate change.

But the two wind farms at stake are built on land in central Norway that is traditionally used by the Sami people to herd reindeer, a prized animal that has long provided them with food, clothing and labor. While the turbines bolster Norway’s green ambitions by powering thousands of homes, they do so at a cost activists say is too high: by disrupting the daily life of the Sami people and frightening the animals they rely on for their livelihood.

U.S. Congress votes to block ESG investing, Biden veto expected

Read the full story from Reuters.

A Republican bill to prevent pension fund managers from basing investment decisions on factors like climate change cleared Congress on Wednesday, setting up a confrontation with President Joe Biden, who is expected to veto the measure.

The U.S. Senate voted 50-46 to adopt a resolution to overturn a Labor Department rule making it easier for fund managers to consider environmental, social and corporate governance, or ESG, issues for investments and shareholder rights decisions, such as through proxy voting.

EPA announces over $250 million to fund innovative projects that tackle climate pollution

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is making $250 million available to develop innovative strategies to cut climate pollution and build clean energy economies. These planning grants, through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are the first tranche of funding going to states, local governments, Tribes, and territories from the $5 billion Climate Pollution Reduction Grants (CPRG) program created by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. The program provides flexible planning resources for states, Tribes, territories, and municipalities to develop and implement scalable solutions that protect people from pollution and advance environmental justice.

“We know that tackling the climate crisis demands a sense of urgency to protect people and the plane. President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act is a historic opportunity to provide communities across the country with the resources they need to protect people from harmful climate pollution and improve our economy. These Climate Pollution Reduction Grants are an important first step to equip communities with the resources to create innovative strategies that reduce climate emissions and drive benefits across the country.”

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan

All 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are eligible to receive $3 million in grant funds. In addition, each of the 67 most populous metropolitan areas in the country are eligible to receive $1 million for plans to tackle climate pollution locally. EPA is also making millions in noncompetitive planning grant funds available to territory and tribal governments. Later this year, EPA will launch a competition for $4.6 billion in funding to implement projects and initiatives included in these plans. States, cities, territories, and Tribes can also use this funding to develop strategies for using the other grant, loan, and tax provisions secured by President Biden’s historic legislation, including the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to achieve their clean energy, climate, and environmental justice goals.

President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act includes historic funding to combat climate change while creating good-paying jobs and advancing environmental justice. Today’s announcement builds on $550 million announced last week for EPA’s new Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaking program and $100 million announced earlier this year for environmental justice grants to support underserved and overburdened communities. Additionally, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund will award nearly $27 billion to leverage private capital for clean energy and clean air investments across the country.

About the Climate Pollution Reduction Grant Program

The CPRG planning grants will support states, territories, Tribes, municipalities and air agencies, in the creation of comprehensive, innovative strategies for reducing pollution and ensuring that investments maximize benefits, especially for low-income and disadvantaged communities. These climate plans will include:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions inventories;
  • Emissions projections and reduction targets;
  • Economic, health, and social benefits, including to low-income and disadvantaged communities;
  • Plans to leverage other sources of federal funding including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act;
  • Workforce needs to support decarbonization and a clean energy economy; and
  • Future government staffing and budget needs.

In program guidance released today, EPA describes how the Agency intends to award and manage CPRG funds to eligible entities, including states, metropolitan areas, Tribes, and territories.


Under the formula-based program for planning grants, the governments of all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico are eligible for up to $3 million. Each state government will be expected to develop or update any existing climate action plan in collaboration with sub-state jurisdictions including air pollution control districts and large and small municipalities statewide, and to conduct meaningful engagement including with low income and disadvantaged communities throughout its jurisdiction.

Metropolitan Areas

To further EPA’s efforts to cover as much of the population as possible under regional planning grants, the 67 most populous metropolitan areas will be awarded $1 million each to develop regional planning grants with key stakeholders in their area. Communities that do not rank in the top 67 most populous areas will have opportunities to partner with their states and neighboring jurisdictions.

Territories & Tribes

The territories of Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands as well as federally recognized Indian Tribes are also eligible entities; their application process is detailed in a separate program guidance.

Tribes have a set-aside of $25 million, for grants up to $500,000 for a single Tribe or $1 million for groups of 2 or more. Territories are eligible for up to $500,000 each. Applicants are not required to provide a cost-share or matching funds for this funding.

Next Steps

States must submit a notice of intent to participate by March 31, 2023; the 67 most populous metropolitan areas nationally must submit a notice of intent to participate by April 28, 2023.

EPA strongly encourages all eligible entities to review the complete program guidance documents available on EPA’s website to learn more about these planning grants, details about eligibility criteria and allocation formulas, important deadlines, and other requirements. 

This funding for climate planning will be followed later this year by $4.6 billion in implementation grant funding that will support the expeditious implementation of investment-ready policies created by the CPRG planning grants, programs, and projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the near term. Through the CPRG program, EPA will support the development and deployment of technologies and solutions that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and harmful air pollution, as well as transition America to a clean energy economy that benefits all Americans.

Key Program Dates

States and metropolitan areas have different deadlines to notify EPA that they intend to opt-in to the climate planning grants.

  • States will have until March 31, 2023, to opt in to this grant by submitting a notice of intent to participate. The lead organization for the state will then need to submit an application, which will include a workplan and budget for the planning grant, by April 28, 2023. States can work with EPA regional offices during this time.
  • Metropolitan areas have until April 28, 2023, to opt in. The lead organization for the metropolitan area will then need to submit an application, which will include a workplan and budget for the planning grant, by May 31, 2023. Metropolitan areas can work with EPA regional offices during this time.
  • Tribes and territories have a separate program guidance, process and deadlines with applications and workplans due by June 15, 2023. EPA’s regional offices will work closely with Tribes and territories to support their successful application. They should work closely with their EPA region toward submitting an application and workplan by June 15, 2023.

By summer 2023, EPA Regional Offices expect to award and administer the funding agreements.

EPA Request for information: Inflation Reduction Act Environmental and Climate Justice Program

On February 9, 2023, EPA issued a Request for Information for public input on new and innovative strategies and approaches for competition design, community engagement, equitable distribution of financial resources, grantee eligibility for funding, capacity-building and outreach, and technical assistance.

EPA is seeking public input on multiple aspects of the ECJ Program including, but not limited to:

  • ECJ Program Design
  • Types of Projects to Fund
  • Reducing Application Barriers
  • Reporting and Oversight
  • Technical Assistance

Responses must be received by March 17, 2023.

Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaking Program

Applications due by May 31st, 2023.
More information and to apply.

Approximately $550 million is available to select approximately 11 eligible entities to become Grantmakers. Grantmakers will design competitive application and submission processes, award environmental justice subgrants, implement a tracking and reporting system, provide resources and support to communities, all in collaboration with EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights. The EJ TCGM program was created to reduce barriers to the application process and increase the efficiency of the awards process for environmental justice grants. 

This competition is being launched in order to meet the goals and objectives of two Executive Orders (EO 14008 and EO 13985) issued by the Biden Administration that demonstrate the EPA’s and Administration’s commitment to achieving environmental justice and embedding environmental justice into Agency programs. The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act created the Environmental and Climate Justice block grant program in section 138 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and provided EPA with $2.8 billion in grant funding for the program for projects to benefit communities with environmental justice concerns.

Review the EJ TCGM Request for Applications for specific guidance and eligible project examples

This RFA is not for applicants to apply for an EJ Small Grant directly from EPA. This RFA is a competition to select the pass-through entities who will manage their own EJ Thriving Communities Subgrants program in collaboration with EPA over the next 3 years. Those applicants seeking funds to conduct a community project in a specific community may not apply to this competition.

To apply for this opportunity, view the RFA on  Applications packages must be submitted on or before May 31st, 2023 at 11:59 PM (Eastern Time). 

For more information, please contact Jacob Burney and view the Informational Video on the Environmental and Climate Justice Communities Grants Program.

Applicants are invited to participate in a webinar with EPA to address questions about the EJ TCGM Program and this solicitation. A recording of the webinar will be posted in this section for those who cannot attend the live webinars and for reference purposes when preparing applications.

March 16, 2023
2:00 – 4:00 pm Eastern

Register and Join ZoomGov Meeting

Midwest CO2 pipeline rush creates regulatory chaos

Read the full story at E&E News.

A complicated question is looming in the Midwest over plans to build thousands of miles of carbon dioxide pipelines: Who would regulate them?

The answer could affect the Biden administration’s hopes for a massive buildup of carbon sequestration projects, which would in many cases be supplied by those pipelines. Safety advocates say there are loopholes in federal safety regulations that could leave the lines largely unregulated.

Pipelines being converted from shipping natural gas to carrying CO2 aren’t covered by current rules, for example. Existing standards to move carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery also may not be adequate for new pipeline projects, critics say.

Bill on carbon capture pilot program divides Indiana lawmakers, narrowly passes Senate

Read the full story from WFYI.

A bill that aims to help get a state pilot program on carbon sequestration going narrowly passed the Indiana Senate this week. Property rights and environmental issues split both parties on the matter.

Nearly four years ago, the state gave Wabash Valley Resources approval to store its carbon emissions underground. Senate Bill 451 aims to make the project in Terre Haute more competitive for federal grants by clarifying how the company will get property rights.

ISTC Farm to Food Bank project publishes case studies highlighting recent collaborations

The Farm to Food Bank project recently published six case studies of their work with farmers during the 2022 growing season. Each case study includes a summary of the project, as well as lessons learned.

The case studies highlight projects with:

During the 2022 growing season, these six partners donated over 975,000 pounds of surplus and off-grade fresh produce to food banks and pantries throughout Illinois.

Key takeaways

  • Getting an early, off-season start with farmers markets and growers is essential. It allows farmers markets to introduce the program when growers aren’t as busy. It also allows food banks, food pantries, and growers to have conversations about what crops to plant, especially in areas of the state where the communities are diverse and may have preferences for specific types of produce.
  • Using reusable plastic crates prevents both packaging and food waste.
  • Growers can champion the program and recruit other growers.
  • Farmers can be aggregators. Having one farmer handle communications on behalf of several growers makes it easier for food banks to coordinate delivery and receive a variety of products.
  • Pairing farmers new to growing specialty crops with more experienced growers may help overcome challenges to participation.
  • Matching up harvest schedules with food bank pick-up schedules is essential.
  • When partnering growers directly with food pantries, additional considerations include:
    • how close in proximity they are to each other.
    • ensuring that food delivery and distribution schedules are in synch.
    • relying on food pantries to pick up at the farm presents challenges. Pantries often do not have adequate staff, capacity, or access to large vehicles, which means that some food gets left at the farm.

Learn more about the Farm to Food Bank project on the TAP website and at Feeding Illinois and view the complete list of Farm to Food Bank project publications on IDEALS.

This story originally appeared on the ISTC Blog. Read the original story.