The US Department of Energy (DOE) recently issued a request from the Biden Administration to inform a $500 million energy program to construct clean energy projects on former and current mine lands across the country, funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The ambitious program will fund the placement of clean energy technologies such as geothermal and solar energy facilities. The new projects will help advance technology in zero net carbon building practices and carbon-neutral construction materials.
What is the purpose of the energy program?
The Biden Administration aims to benefit both local and national communities economically, foster job opportunities, and reduce carbon emissions. The energy program will be launched nationally throughout multiple states, focusing on federally strengthening hard-hit energy communities through providing more affordable and cleaner power. Further, the project will build upon the Justice40 Initiative, which works to direct 40% of the benefits of clean energy and climate initiatives to disadvantaged communities.
How will this energy program impact the energy industry?
- Zero net carbon buildings at zero net cost, including carbon-neutral construction materials;
- Energy storage at one-tenth the cost of today’s alternatives;
- Advanced energy system management tools to plan for and operate a grid powered by zero-carbon power plants;
- Low-cost, zero-carbon on-road vehicles and transit systems;
- New, sustainable fuels for aircraft and ships, as well as improvements in broader aircraft and ship efficiency and transportation management;
- Affordable refrigeration, air conditioning, and heat pumps made without refrigerants that warm the planet;
- Carbon-free heat and industrial processes that capture emissions for making steel, concrete, chemicals, and other important industrial products;
- Carbon-free hydrogen at a lower cost than hydrogen made from polluting alternatives
In addition, the Clean Energy Demonstration Program on current and Former Mine Land will innovate land conversion to clean energy projects. The energy program will foster projects utilizing one or more of the following clean energy technologies on mining sites:
- Geothermal energy
- Direct air capture
- Fossil-fueled generation with carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration
- Energy storage, including pumped-storage hydropower and compressed air
- Advanced nuclear
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