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Cutting Carbs

DOE pledges a fresh $6 billion to decarbonization


On paper, the U.S. government appears to be doing as much as it can to implement “cleaner” energy, coupled with an apparent desire to stimulate job growth in associated industries.





On March 25, the U.S. Department of Energy announced up to $6 billion for 33 projects across more than 20 states to “decarbonize energy-intensive industries, reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions, support good-paying union jobs, revitalize industrial communities, and strengthen the nation’s manufacturing competitiveness.” Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, the projects are designed to “create and maintain tens of thousands of high-quality jobs and help accelerate the commercial-scale demonstration of emerging industrial decarbonization technologies crucial to meeting current climate and domestic manufacturing goals,” according to a statement from the DOE released March 25. 


The projects will reportedly focus on the highest emitting industries where decarbonization technologies will have the greatest impact, including aluminum and other metals, cement and concrete, chemicals and refining, iron and steel, and more. Together, the projects are expected to reduce the equivalent of more than 14 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions each year—an amount equivalent to the annual emissions of 3 million gasoline-powered cars. Many of the projects will deploy first-in-the-nation emissions-reducing technologies that have the potential for sector-wide adoption and transformation, multiplying the magnitude of the emissions cuts and supporting the future of U.S. manufacturing. The announcement is reportedly the largest investment in industrial decarbonization in American history.


“Spurring on the next generation of decarbonization technologies in key industries like steel, paper, concrete, and glass will keep America the most competitive nation on Earth,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Thanks to [this] industrial strategy, DOE is making the largest investment in industrial decarbonization in the history of the United States. These investments will slash emissions from these difficult-to-decarbonize sectors and ensure American businesses and American workers remain at the forefront of the global economy.” 


This transformative federal investment will help strengthen local economies and create and maintain tens of thousands of good-paying, high-quality jobs—particularly those that support worker organizing and collective bargaining. As part of these efforts to build an equitable and inclusive clean energy future, each project is also expected to develop and ultimately implement a comprehensive Community Benefits Plan that ensures meaningful community and labor engagement.


The industrial sector contributes nearly one-third of the nation’s overall greenhouse gas emissions. This transformative federal investment is matched by the selected projects to leverage more than $20 billion in total to demonstrate commercial-scale decarbonization solutions needed to move the industrial sector toward net-zero emissions. Funded projects will cut carbon emissions by an average of 77%. The industrial sector’s unique and complex decarbonization challenges require equally unique and innovative decarbonization solutions that leverage multiple pathways including energy efficiency, electrification, and alternative fuels and feedstocks such as clean hydrogen. The projects announced today are part of the Industrial Demonstrations Program, managed by DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED), and will help strengthen America’s manufacturing and industrial competitiveness. Funding for these projects includes $489 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and $5.47 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act. 

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