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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.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 14, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Power demand surge thwarts climate goals

Expand chart
Reproduced from International Energy Agency; Chart: Axios Visuals

Global electricity demand surged by record levels in 2021, causing price spikes and emissions growth, the International Energy Agency said.

Driving the news: New IEA data out Friday shows that power demand grew by over 1,500 terawatt-hours, the highest absolute amount ever.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 13, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Congress to take a look at crypto's carbon footprint

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

A powerful House committee next week will convene a hearing on the energy use of digital cryptocurrency mining.

Why it matters: The Jan. 20 Energy and Commerce Committee hearing highlights growing concern about carbon emissions linked to bitcoin and other currencies, even as the sector vows to get greener.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 13, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Battery startup QuantumScape's new move

Photo Illustration: Pavlo Gonchar via Getty Images

The energy storage heavyweight Fluence and the solid-state battery startup QuantumScape Thursday morning announced a multiyear agreement to test and deploy QuantumScape lithium-metal tech in stationary applications.

Why it matters: Storage growth is important to enabling high levels of renewables penetration and also helps aid grid reliability. Solid-state battery tech holds the promise of higher energy density and other benefits.