Biden-Harris Administration announces $4.9 billion to deploy infrastructure necessary to manage and store carbon pollution

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced a nearly $4.9 billion set of funding opportunities to bolster investments in the carbon management industry and to significantly reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions released into the atmosphere through power generation and industrial operations. The funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will support three programs to help drive the demonstration and deployment of carbon capture systems, along with carbon transport and storage infrastructure. Large-scale deployment of carbon management technologies is crucial to addressing the climate crisis and meeting President Biden’s goal of a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy by 2050, which will both protect existing industrial jobs and create new ones. 

“Nearly every climate model makes clear that we need carbon management technology—especially in hard to decarbonize sectors and heavy industries such as steel and cement production—to tackle the climate crisis. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is helping DOE pick up the pace on projects that can store tens of millions of tons of CO2 that would otherwise be emitted, which will bring jobs to our economy and deliver a healthier environment for all Americans.” 

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm

The Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law by President Biden, invests even further in building a domestic carbon management industry, with substantial improvements to the federal carbon capture tax credit (45Q/Sec. 13104). DOE’s analysis estimates that actions taken through the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will drive 2030 economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 2005 levels.  

DOE continues to prioritize federal investments in climate solutions that deliver broadly shared prosperity, minimize harms, ensure meaningful benefits disadvantaged communities, and support American workers and collective bargaining. As such applicants for funding will be required to submit Community Benefits Plans detailing their commitments to community and labor engagement, quality job creation, diversity and equity, and implementation of the  Justice40 Initiative. Projects selected under these opportunities will be required to develop implementation strategies and report on activities, and outcomes related to community economic and other benefits and environmental impacts, such as investments in registered apprenticeships, hiring local workers, participation of minority-owned business, or changes to non-CO2 pollution.   

DOE today is announcing three funding opportunity announcements (FOAs):   

  • Carbon Storage Validation and Testing – This FOA supports the Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE) Initiative, managed by FECM, and provides up to $2.25 billion to support the development of new and expanded large-scale, commercial carbon storage projects with capacities to store 50 or more million metric tons of CO2, along with associated CO2 transport infrastructure. Projects will focus on detailed site characterization, permitting, and construction stages of project development under CarbonSAFE. Read the full FOA here.
  • Carbon Capture Demonstration Projects Program – DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED), in partnership with the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM), will manage the Carbon Capture Demonstration Projects Program. The program provides up to $2.54 billion to develop six integrated carbon capture, transport, and storage demonstration projects that can be readily replicated and deployed at fossil energy power plants and major industrial sources of CO2, such as cement, pulp and paper, iron and steel, and certain types of chemical production facilities. The FOA released today provides up to $189 million for up to 20 integrated front-end engineering design studies, with a second FOA expected later in 2022 to support detailed design, construction, and operation of carbon capture projects, as well as transport and storage of the captured CO2. Read the full FOA here.
  • Carbon Dioxide Transport Engineering and Design – FECM will manage the Carbon Dioxide Transport, Front-End Engineering and Design FOA which provides up to $100 million to design regional CO2 pipeline networks to safely transport captured CO2 from key sources to centralized locations. Projects will focus on carbon transport costs, transport network configurations, and technical and commercial considerations that support broad efforts to develop and deploy carbon capture, conversion, and storage at commercial scale. Read the full FOA here

Since January 2021, DOE has invested more than $242 million in 55 research and development projects and front-end engineering design studies to advance carbon management approaches that include CO2 capture, transport, and storage. Visit the OCED and FECM websites for more information on how DOE is working to accelerate market adoption and deployment of carbon management technologies to support an equitable transition to a decarbonized energy system.

University receives £220,000 from UK Government for hydrogen research

Read the full story in Circular.

The University of Aberdeen’s School of Engineering has been awarded £220,000 in funding from the UK Government for a project that aims to create a new process to obtain hydrogen from organic waste as part of the energy transition.

New $12.5 million center at UChicago to investigate zero-emission hydrogen energy

Read the full story from the University of Chicago.

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded researchers at the University of Chicago $12.5 million to advance work aimed at finding innovative solutions for long-lasting hydrogen energy research — potentially offering a zero-emission alternative to fossil fuels.

The Catalyst Design for Decarbonization Center, or CD4DC, will be the first center of its kind based at the University of Chicago and will be led by Laura Gagliardi, the Richard and Kathy Leventhal Professor at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, the Department of Chemistry, and the James Franck Institute.

PepsiCo Labs drives digital start-ups to unlock environmentally sustainability solutions

Read the full story at Food Ingredients 1st.

PepsiCo is on track to elevate its supply chain in Europe and collaborate with start-ups to pilot new technologies which will boost environmentally sustainable solutions.

Six start-ups have been selected through a program focused on engaging the start-up community to bring emerging technologies to the fore. Over the next 12 months, PepsiCo plans to foster further collaborations as part of the project.

The program is being led by PepsiCo Labs. The team identifies and collaborates with breakthrough tech companies to drive growth, unlock shared potential and develop solutions.

PepsiCo aims to scale the successful technologies across the supply chain during 2023 and beyond.

Developing tech to eliminate ‘forever chemicals’ from water

Read the full story from the University of Illinois Chicago.

Engineers at the University of Illinois Chicago have been awarded just over $1 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Alliance for Water Innovation to build a system that selectively removes and destroys poly- and perfluorinated substances, commonly called PFAS and referred to as “forever chemicals,” from industrial and municipal wastewaters. PFAS are man-made chemicals found in many common materials, and the grant will support the team’s work for three years. 

EPA announces initial availability of $11 million for technical assistance centers to support underserved communities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the availability of $11 million in initial grant funding to establish Environmental Justice (EJ) Thriving Community Technical Assistance Centers across the nation. The EPA funding is available under the first year of a partnership with the Department of Energy, with future phases of up to 10 multi-year awards for a maximum potential program value of $50 million.

The Centers will provide an unprecedented level of support to help ensure that federal resources are equitably distributed and meet the on-the-ground environmental justice challenges that communities have faced for generations.

“Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, EPA is making historic investments in our nation’s infrastructure, making it all the more crucial to support the communities that need the most help accessing this funding,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “This grant funding will fill a critical gap to support underserved communities disproportionately harmed by pollution and break down barriers to federal resources.”

The Centers will provide technical assistance, training, and capacity-building support to communities with environmental justice concerns and their partners. They will also assist with navigating federal systems such as Grants.gov and SAM.gov, effectively managing and leveraging grant funding, and translation and interpretation services for limited English-speaking participants. The initial $11 million in grant funding is being provided by EPA.

The support provided will focus on building community-centered collaborations through meaningful engagement, guidance on accessing other forms of support and technical assistance across the federal government, and assistance with writing grant proposals. This program will coordinate with and complement the Department of Transportation’s Thriving Communities Initiative that provides technical assistance and capacity building resources to improve and foster thriving communities through transportation improvements. 

This opportunity is available to public and private universities and colleges; public and private nonprofit institutions/organizations; and collaborating tribal governments. Applications are due on October 4, 2022. Awards will be issued as cooperative agreements and EPA will be substantially involved in the operation of the centers. 

Haskell Indian Nations University receives $20 million National Science Foundation research award for Indigenous science hub project

Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland today announced that Haskell Indian Nations University, a Bureau of Indian Education-operated Tribal University in Lawrence, Kansas, is the recipient of a $20 million award from the National Science Foundation for an Indigenous science hub project. Funded under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the award is for five years and is the largest research award ever granted by the NSF to a Tribal college or university.

The project will create The Large Scale CoPe: Rising Voices, Changing Coasts: The National Indigenous and Earth Sciences Convergence Hub, a space for the convergence of disciplines and epistemologies where Indigenous knowledge-holders from diverse coastal regions will work with university-trained social, ecosystem and physical Earth system scientists and students on transformative research to address coastal hazards in the contexts of their communities.

“The Rising Voices, Changing Coasts hub to be located at Haskell Indian Nations University is a tremendous step forward in supporting Tribal communities as they address challenges from a rapidly changing climate,” said Assistant Secretary Newland. “This is an exciting and much-needed opportunity for scientists and Indigenous knowledge keepers to collaborate on how Indigenous people in coastal areas can build resiliency to the dynamic forces resulting from climate change.”

The Rising Voices, Changing Coasts hub’s goals are to improve modeling and prediction of coastal processes to support decision-making by Indigenous communities, develop a framework for cross-cultural collaboration that can be adopted in the future, train the next generation of Indigenous researchers, and increase the infrastructure at Haskell needed to support future large research projects.

The hub will focus on place-based research in four regions: Alaska (Arctic), Louisiana (Gulf of Mexico), Hawai‘i (Pacific Islands), and Puerto Rico (Caribbean Islands). It will combine Indigenous knowledge, modeling capabilities, archeological records, geographic information system techniques, socio-economic analysis and hazards research. Together, these data, transdisciplinary analysis and convergent findings will enhance fundamental understanding of the interconnected physical, cultural, social and economic processes that result in coastal hazards and climate resilience opportunities, and increase the accuracy, relevance and usability of model predictions on multi-decadal timescales.

The Haskell Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit serving the university, secured the project’s funding. “This award is wonderful and critically important today,” said Haskell Foundation Director Aaron Hove. “It cements Haskell’s leadership role in Indigenous Climate Change research and demonstrates what a small institution can accomplish when it builds relationships with internationally known research institutions like the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Scripps Research Institute and large research universities.”

“This research hub is a significant part of the growing recognition that traditional ecological knowledges and Indigenous knowledges should be a part of the science that is being done today regarding global climate change,” noted Dr. Daniel R. Wildcat, Haskell faculty member and the hub’s lead investigator. “It is a game changer for Indigenous peoples. We have been advocating for years that we need a seat at the table in scientific discussions regarding climate. I think the funding for this hub allows Indigenous knowledge holders to build their own table and invite leading academic trained scientists to take a seat.”

In addition to Haskell Indian Nations University, as the lead institution, partners in the hub are: NCAR and its Rising Voices Center for Indigenous and Earth Sciences, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Indigenous Peoples Climate Change Working Group, and community partners in the four targeted regions.

Racial and ethnic disparities persist in NSF funding decisions

Read the full story at Chemical & Engineering News.

Over the past 2 decades, the US National Science Foundation (NSF) has consistently funded White researchers at higher rates than researchers from other racial and ethnic groups, according to a new study that has not yet been peer-reviewed (OSF Preprints 2022, DOI: 10.31219/osf.io/xb57u).

The study also found that White principal investigators (PIs) have secured NSF funding at increasing rates since at least 1999, a finding that contrasts with a common sentiment among White researchers that they have had more difficulty acquiring funding over time, says Christine Chen, a postdoctoral researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, who led the work.

EPA seeks input on latest pollution prevention grant opportunity funded by $100 million investment from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced two listening sessions to collect input on the development of a new grant opportunity made possible by the $100 million investment in the agency’s Pollution Prevention (P2) program from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The new grant opportunity will encourage products, purchasing, and/or supply chains that are safer, more sustainable, and environmentally preferable and advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s bold environmental agenda.

The P2 program also delivers on President Biden’s Justice40 commitments to deliver 40% of benefits from climate, clean energy and pollution reduction investments, including from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to underserved or overburdened communities.

“The products that we buy, use, and work with every day can have a real impact on our health and the environment like air and water pollution, waste disposal issues, and climate change,” said EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Deputy Assistant Administrator for Pollution Prevention Jennie Romer. “This new grant opportunity would leverage our existing tools and programs to increase access to safer and more sustainable products, like products that conform to EPA’s recommended standards and ecolabels, especially in disadvantaged and other communities with environmental justice concerns.”

A listening session on Sept. 7 will seek input from tribes on this new grant opportunity. Another session on Sept. 8 is for all potential applicants and stakeholders. Eligible applicants include U.S. states, Tribes, territories, or entities of these governments such as colleges and universities. Eligible applicants may also partner with interested stakeholders. Matching funds will not be required for these grants, making this funding opportunity more accessible to underserved and overburdened communities. The funding cycle for the new grant opportunity announced today would run in the off years of the traditional P2 grants.  

EPA is interested in understanding how these grants can be most accessible and useful to applicants. EPA will also seek additional insight into how funded projects can increase supply and demand for safer, environmentally preferable products, such as those certified by EPA’s Safer Choice program or identified by EPA’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing program. Additionally, the agency is also interested in feedback on which projects would best support the grant’s goals, how to best encourage grantees to partner with other organizations to maximize project impact, how to best encourage projects that will benefit underserved communities and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and which barriers exist to potential applicants and what can be done to minimize those barriers.

This new grant opportunity is in addition to the P2 grant opportunities announced earlier this year for states and Tribes to develop and provide businesses with information, training, and tools to help them adopt P2 practices. These included a new P2 grant opportunity of approximately $14 million funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which built upon the traditional P2 grants program that has been administered by the agency for over 25 years. EPA anticipates announcing the awardees for these opportunities in the coming months.

Register for the webinars using the following links:

Written feedback will also be accepted through Sept. 30 at EPP_SaferChoice_Grants@epa.gov.

Read more about P2 and the P2 Grant Program.

Funding notice: Community Geothermal Heating and Cooling Design and Deployment

Office: Geothermal Technologies Office 
FOA number: DE-FOA-0002632  
Link to apply: Apply on EERE Exchange
FOA Amount: $13 million
Applications Due: October 11, 2022

On July 12, 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the Community Geothermal Heating and Cooling Design and Deployment Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), which will award $300,000–$13 million for projects that help communities design and deploy geothermal district heating and cooling systems, create related workforce training, and identify and address environmental justice concerns. The FOA will help expand community-scale geothermal by supporting new systems and developing case studies to be replicated throughout the country. 

The FOA will support the formation of U.S.-based community coalitions that will develop, design, and install community geothermal heating and cooling systems that supply at least 25% of the heating and cooling load in communities. Eligible applications must demonstrate that switching to geothermal district heating and cooling system would result in greenhouse gas emission reductions for the community where the system is installed.

Widespread adoption of geothermal heating and cooling systems will help decarbonize the building and electricity sectors, reduce energy costs for families, and boost resilience. The FOA will also advance the objectives of DOE’s Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) to realize the potential of community-scale geothermal heating and cooling nationwide.

GTO anticipates making approximately 1–10 awards under the initial phase of this FOA, with individual awards varying between $300,000 and $750,000. In the second phase, following a downselect, GTO anticipates making 1–4 awards, with individual awards between $2.5 million and $10 million.

Forming a Team to Apply

Circle illustrating the four roles needed in a community geothermal coalition: community voice deployment, analysis/design, and workforce.

GTO seeks diverse teams to form U.S. community coalitions including representatives for four key roles: 

  1. Community voice team member(s) who understand and can communicate the energy, environmental, economic, social, and/or other relevant needs that the proposed system would address, as well as local development and regulatory requirements. 
  2. Workforce team member(s) who know the community labor market and can help the coalition with apprenticeship opportunities, job placement, and developing training or lesson plans for the applicable trades. 
  3. Analysis/Design team member(s) who have experience designing geothermal systems as well as analyzing the economic and technical aspects of such systems. 
  4. Deployment team member(s) who have experience building new or retrofitting existing energy systems.

Examples of each role are in the FOA. Coalitions can be from urban, suburban, rural, remote, island, or islanded communities where geothermal can reduce dependence on fossil fuels such as natural gas or heating oil.

To assist coalition formation, GTO is providing a Teaming Partner List where interested parties can provide contact information and their expertise, which can be used by potential applicants or entities interested in partnering with other applicants for this FOA. The list will be updated at least biweekly until the close of the full application period, to reflect new teaming partners who have provided their information.

Key Dates

FOA Issue Date: July 12, 2022
Informational Webinar:  July 26, 2022, 12:00 p.m. ET Register here
Submission Deadline for Full Applications: October 11, 2022, 5:00 p.m. ET
Expected Date for EERE Selection Notifications: March 2023
Expected Timeframe for Award Negotiations: Spring 2023

Additional Information