Dec 21, 2021 - Energy & Environment

First look: DOE's new climate tech deployment push

Illustration of a plant shaped like a cog being watered by a watering can

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Energy Department today will launch a new office aimed at helping to commercialize advanced emissions-cutting technologies.

Driving the news: The Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations is part of the recently signed bipartisan infrastructure law and was in the department's budget request even earlier.

Why it matters: It's designed to help promising tech navigate the casualty-strewn path from lab success to commercial-scale validation and market penetration.

  • The law provides over $21 billion for multiyear demonstration projects in areas like advanced nuclear, long-duration storage, CO2 capture and removal, hydrogen, and industrial decarbonization.
  • The new office is aimed at boosting DOE's ability to design and manage large-scale demonstration projects.

The big picture: While Democrats' stalled Build Back Better (BBB) plan is critical for deploying existing and emerging clean tech, key DOE provisions in the $1.2 trillion bipartisan law are heavy on plans to help bring less mature solutions to market at scale.

  • One way to look at it: BBB is key to steep emissions cuts beginning quickly, and the bipartisan plan's clean tech demonstrations and support would enable further reductions in the 2030s and 2040s and beyond.

What they're saying: The office approved in the bipartisan bill "will move clean energy technologies out of the lab and into local and regional economies across the country, proving the value of technologies that can deliver for communities, businesses, and markets," Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.

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