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More than 50 universities and nearly a dozen National Laboratories are on tap to receive over $540 million to conduct research in clean-energy technology and low-carbon manufacturing, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced recently.
The investments will fund research projects to develop solar and nuclear energy technologies, energy storage and carbon capture, new manufacturing processes and ways to more efficiently use critical minerals, the DOE reports in its Aug. 25 announcement. Projects include research to support the DOE's Energy Earthshots Initiatives, which establish goals for advancements in clean-energy technology, according to the report.
"Most greenhouse-gas emissions come from the production and use of energy," the DOE states in the announcement, "so building strong scientific foundations for reducing emissions across the energy life-cycle is crucial to meeting President Biden’s goal of creating a net-zero emissions economy by 2050."
Energy Sec. Jennifer Granholm announced the awards recipients at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville on Aug. 25. In her remarks, Granholm said the projects "will strengthen the scientific foundations needed for the United States to maintain world leadership in clean energy innovation, from renewable power to carbon management.”
Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio; Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire; the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado; the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder); and Ames National Laboratory in Ames, Iowa are among the institutions awarded the funding.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat from New Hampshire, said in the announcement that the research projects "will help position the U.S. to transition to a clean energy economy and net zero carbon emissions."
"Time is of the essence to combat the climate crisis," Shaheen said in the statement.
Forty-three Energy Frontier Research Centers will receive over $400 million, according to the DOE. Projects at the centers will be spearheaded by 28 universities and nine National Laboratories to study "everything from energy storage to quantum information science," according to the report. Another 75 partner institutions will participate in the studies.
Another 53 projects are slated to get $140 million from the Chemical and Materials Sciences to Advance Clean Energy Technologies and Low-Carbon Manufacturing funding opportunity, the DOE reports. The monies will fund research at 33 universities and 11 National Laboratories aimed at making energy production and storage more efficient.
In a social media post to Twitter, the DOE wrote "Slashing emissions and mitigating climate change starts with a strong scientific foundation," an idea repeated by Granholm in the DOE announcement.
“Meeting the Biden-Harris Administration’s ambitious climate and clean energy goals will require a game-changing commitment to clean energy," Granholm said, "and that begins with researchers across the country."