June 15 deadline: Fund for Environmental Journalism

TOPIC FOCUS:  THE POLITICS AND ECONOMICS OF RENEWABLE ENERGY IN THE U.S.

APPLICATION PERIOD: Proposals will be accepted APRIL 15, 2016 through JUNE 15, 2016, midnight local time.

WHO MAY APPLY FOR A GRANT?

Journalists working independently or on the staff of news organizations (for-profit or non-profit) are eligible for grants from the Fund for Environmental Journalism.

SEJ membership is not required, but all applicants must meet SEJ’s membership eligibility requirements.

If your work involves lobbying, media relations or public relations on environment-related issues you will not be eligible for membership in SEJ.  Please review requirements if you are not sure.

Applicants for FEJ story grants are limited to receipt of one grant per two-year period and two grants per five-year period. Prospective applicants who have served on the Society of Environmental Journalists board of directors, staff or FEJ grantee selection jury must observe a one-year blackout period before applying.

WILL PROPOSALS ON OTHER TOPICS BE CONSIDERED THIS ROUND?

No. For the June 15, 2016 deadline, grants from the Fund for Environmental Journalism will be available only for journalism projects covering “the politics and economics of renewable energy in the U. S.”

If your project is focused on a different topic, do not apply this time. 

Story project grants from the Fund for Environmental Journalism of the Society of Environmental Journalists can be provided only when opportunities are funded in advance through foundation grants and individual donations. SEJ will announce new categories and new deadlines when new underwriting can be secured.

For more information or to apply, visit http://www.sej.org/initiatives/fund-for-environmental-journalism.

Cleveland Clinic establishes $7.5 million Green Revolving Fund

Read the full story from Crain’s Cleveland Business.

Cleveland Clinic announced the establishment of a $7.5 million Green Revolving Fund — the largest of its kind among U.S. health care systems, it says.

Energy efficiency projects pull money from the fund, which then is replenished by reinvesting the savings from reduced energy consumption as well as rebates.

Nationally, the $7.5 million annual commitment, announced during the Better Buildings Summit in Washington, D.C., is one of the largest in any business sector.

Funding opp: Modular Chemical Process Intensification Institute for Clean Energy Manufacturing

Read the complete RFP at https://eere-exchange.energy.gov/default.aspx#FoaId9121dd0f-ea3d-48b2-89d5-f51c6d379bf1

  • Concept Paper Submission Deadline: 6/15/2016 5:00 PM ET
  • Full Application Submission Deadline: 8/17/2016 5:00 PM ET

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), invests in cutting-edge research, development, and demonstration activities focused on sustainable transportation, renewable power, and energy efficiency. A core element of EERE’s mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness in innovation and manufacturing in emerging clean energy industries. To address this core element, EERE launched its Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative (CEMI) in 2013 with the goal of significantly increasing U.S. manufacturing competitiveness in the production of clean energy products and in domestic manufacturing across the board by increasing industrial energy productivity. EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) plays a key role in executing the mission for CEMI by supporting research and development projects, shared research facilities and technical consortia, and technical assistance programs.

AMO partners with private and public stakeholders to support the research, development, demonstration, and deployment (RDD&D) of innovative technologies that can improve U.S. competitiveness, save energy, and ensure global leadership in manufacturing of clean energy technologies as well as improve energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption in manufacturing. Specifically, AMO invests in cost‐shared RD&D activities in support of cross-cutting next generation materials and manufacturing processes that hold high potential to significantly improve energy efficiency and reduce energy-related emissions, industrial waste, and the life‐cycle energy consumption of manufactured products.

EERE’s AMO establishes Manufacturing Innovation Institutes in the President’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) as shared research, development, and demonstration facilities to overcome cross-cutting challenges related to the manufacturing of clean energy and energy efficiency products, in addition to challenges associated with improving the energy efficiency of the manufacturing sector across the board.

This FOA supports the establishment of a Manufacturing Innovation Institute on Modular Chemical Process Intensification for Clean Energy Manufacturing. Modular chemical process intensification represents an emerging opportunity for processing industries in the U.S. manufacturing sector to improve energy efficiency, reduce feedstock waste, and improve productivity by merging and integrating separate unit processes (mixing, reactions, separation) into single modular hardware elements of reduced size, with higher efficiency and providing inherent scalability.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Modular Chemical Process Intensification Institute for Clean Energy Manufacturing

The Energy Department requested proposals for a new Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute as part of the Administration’s broader National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), which drives collaboration between small- and medium-sized companies, academic institutions, industrial research organizations, and national laboratories.

The Modular Chemical Process Intensification Institute – the fourth led by the Energy Department within the NNMI – represents a critical step in the Administration’s effort to double U.S. energy productivity by 2030. It will focus on developing breakthrough technologies to increase the energy efficiency of manufacturing processes used across an array of U.S. industries.

Proposals for this $70 million funding opportunity announcement are due June 15, 2016.

The Department will also conduct an informational webinar on May 11, 2016 at 3:00pm EDT. This webinar will provide an opportunity to learn more about the program and current solicitation, and ask questions regarding funding opportunity announcement procedures.

To register for this informational webinar, please click here.

In addition to today’s request for proposals, the Department is announcing that the topic of the fifth Energy Department-led institute will be Reducing Embodied Energy and Emissions of Manufactured Materials, focused on lowering energy use through the development of innovative recycling and remanufacturing technologies. More information about the fifth institute will be announced by the end of May 2016.

To access the full funding opportunity announcement, please click here.

To access the official DOE press announcement, please click here.

Funding Opportunity for the 2016-2017 Tribal ecoAmbassadors Grant Program

Due date: Jun 17, 2016
View the full RFP here.

The purpose of EPA’s Tribal ecoAmbassadors Program is to support environmental projects at Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) and partner the TCU participants of these projects with EPA scientists to study the environmental problems most important to the participating TCUs’ tribal communities. The focus of these projects may include, but are not limited to climate change, environmental health, traditional ecological knowledge, environmental sustainability, ecological adaptation, bio-diversity, and/or pollution. TCU applicants apply to this program for funding to support these student operated environmental projects.

Energy Department Announces $4 Million for Projects Launching the Orange Button Solar Energy Data Initiative

The Energy Department today announced nearly $4 million for projects to increase access to solar data. Four partners will help launch the new Orange Button℠ initiative, which will increase solar market transparency and fair pricing by establishing data standards for the industry.

In order to understand the financial risk of solar energy project development, the solar energy community relies on fragmented datasets released by state energy offices and a limited number of private organizations regarding project origination, grid integration, operations, and retirement. These datasets vary widely in format, quality, and content, which makes it difficult for potential providers to have an accurate understanding of potential markets. The Orange Button project will standardize this data, making it easier to share and secure, which will ensure a more standardized and transparent marketplace.

Data for solar energy system performance and electricity production is widely used throughout the industry by developers, utilities, consumers, and financial institutions. Establishing data standards and sharing key datasets throughout the industry will reduce the cost of capital for new solar energy projects by making information about the potential performance of solar projects more readily available and easy to understand. Implementing the Orange Button standards for accessible, self-sustaining, industry-regulated data marketplaces will improve the ability of apps, software, and other websites to store and use energy data and will ensure that the evolving data needs of the solar industry are met. These data marketplaces will help the solar community to rapidly share quality data and will increase competition by improving cost, performance, and pricing transparency.

The SunShot Initiative’s Orange Button project will do for solar what the Green Button project did for energy use data and the Blue Button project did for health records: simplify and standardize solar data so that state governments, customers, utilities, financiers, solar companies, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders can exchange quality data. After the Orange Button data standards are created and launched, data producers like solar companies and utilities can embed a graphic showing an orange button into their app, software, or onto their website to show data users like consumers or financial professionals that a given dataset can be downloaded in the established Orange Button format.

The awardees are as follows:

  • kWh Analytics (San Francisco, California) will receive $1,000,000 to develop a data format translation tool that will instantly translate individual data formats into standardized data formats, significantly reducing efforts and time required from data standards adopters.
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, Colorado) will receive $400,000 to develop a platform that will enable data sharing across the solar marketplace in support of consensus-based data standards.
  • Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (Boston, Massachusetts) will receive $615,426 to lead a 24-month stakeholder and public engagement effort that will help drive out inefficiencies in data exchanges and thereby reduce non-hardware “soft costs” associated with solar projects.
  • SunSpec Alliance (Santa Clara, California) will receive $1,638,765 to establish an open, commercially-embraced solar data exchange system that will enable the free flow of data between commercial software products that addresses all aspects of the solar energy system life cycle. The data exchange system will be comprised of uniform data taxonomy, information models, application program interfaces, a compliance test suite, and reference software.

These new projects build on the work of the Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative to grow markets that support solar businesses and increase solar access and deployment, making solar energy affordable and accessible for all Americans.

ARPA-E Announces $60 Million in Funding for Two Innovative New Programs

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) today announced up to $60 million in funding for two new programs that aim to solve some of the nation’s most pressing energy challenges by accelerating the development of novel energy technologies. The first program, NEXT-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Automated on-Road vehicles (NEXTCAR) seeks to develop new technologies that decrease energy consumption of future vehicles through the use of connectivity and automation. The second program, Rhizosphere Observations Optimizing Terrestrial Sequestration (ROOTS) seeks to improve crop breeding for root and soil function to allow for greater carbon storage in plants.

“We must continue to invest in programs that encourage the scientific community to think boldly and differently about our nation’s energy future,” said ARPA-E Director Dr. Ellen D. Williams. “The NEXTCAR program’s focus on exploiting automation to improve energy efficiency in future vehicles and the ROOTS program’s exploration of carbon capture using crops demonstrate ARPA-E’s unique and forward looking approach to energy innovation.”

NEXT-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Automated on-Road-vehicles (NEXTCAR)
Significant research and development is underway to make future vehicles more connected and automated in order to reduce road accidents and traffic fatalities, but these technologies can also be leveraged to improve energy efficiency in future vehicles. The NEXTCAR program is providing up to $30 million in funding to create new control technologies that reduce the energy consumption of future vehicles by using connectivity and vehicle automation. The program seeks transformative technological solutions that will enable at least a 20 percent reduction in the energy consumption of future Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs), compared to vehicles without these technologies.

For more information and to view the full funding opportunity announcement, please click here.

Rhizosphere Observations Optimizing Terrestrial Sequestration (ROOTS)
Improving the ability for plants to store carbon in the soil has the potential to significantly reduce atmospheric CO2 levels. The ROOTS program is making up to $30 million in funding available to pursue technologies that develop new crop breeding approaches for improved root and soil function that will help plants to store more carbon in the ground and take up nutrients and water more efficiently. ROOTS seeks to develop novel technologies that measure root and soil function and advance predictive models that accelerate the selection and development of plants with more favorable root and soil traits. These technologies could greatly improve crops and production systems that increase carbon storage, water productivity, and fertilizer efficiency which reduces the emissions of another greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide.

For more information and to view the full funding opportunity announcement, please click here.