Tag Archives: U.S. Department of Energy

Biden-Harris Administration Announces $84.5 Million to Make Clean Energy Improvements and Lower Energy Costs for K-12 Schools

Department of Energy News Release

 New Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Grant Program and Prize Competition for Public School Energy Improvements Will Save Schools Money and Enhance Learning Environments  

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), today released a Notice of Intent (NOI) announcing $80 million from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to make K-12 schools more energy efficient and lower their energy costs, including some of the nation’s highest-need schools. The funding is the first tranche of the Renew America’s Schools grant program created by the infrastructure law to provide schools critical energy infrastructure upgrades.

Through the grant program, DOE will fund energy and health improvements in public K-12 schools across the country. Additionally, a new DOE prize program will help resource 25 high-need school districts with the training and tools needed to improve how their schools consume energy. Through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, these investments will address the historic inequities of school facilities, reduce school energy costs, and improve health and learning outcomes for children and staff, while also supporting the promise of bringing good-paying jobs to the community.

To learn more about the grant and prize, visit DOE’s webpage on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Improvements at Public School Facilities. 

Stay up to date on the latest Energy funding opportunities, events, and news.

Read the entire news release here.

From The White House Briefing Room: FACT SHEET: Progress on Biden-⁠Harris Action Plan for Building Better School Infrastructure

For decades, these power plants ran on coal. Now, they’re converting to clean energy

By Adele Peters, Fast Company

According to the Sierra Club, there are still 172 active coal plants in the U.S. But the Inflation Reduction Act could help accelerate the shift that’s already underway. The new climate law has “definitely improved the economics of the ‘coal to clean’ transition in terms of making renewables cheaper,” says Michelle Solomon, policy analyst for electricity at the energy and climate think tank Energy Innovation, who is currently analyzing how the new law will impact the cost of coal versus renewables. The benefit is especially big, she says, in communities with an existing coal plant, where there’s now an extra 10% tax credit for new renewable projects.

The law extends existing tax credits for wind and solar power, but also adds a new tax credit for batteries, which is a critical way to help renewables compete with fossil power that’s available 24/7. “That means it’s a lot easier to integrate renewables into the utility’s overall portfolio,” she says. “If you’re building solar, you don’t have to use that solar energy during the middle of the day. You can shift it if you couple it with batteries.” Read more here.

Flickr Photo

RELATED NEWS & RESOURCES

FEATURED WEBINAR 

Farm Energy Management: Strategies to Save on Electric Bills, October 14, 2022, 11 a.m. to
12 p.m.

This webinar is designed to teach farmers strategies to save on their electric bills. Electric bills are rapidly changing and becoming more complex. Simply using less electricity does not always yield significant savings. This three-part webinar series will cover electric bill components and how to interpret them as well as strategies to save on energy charges, demand charges, and power factor charges. These webinars are taught by Extension energy experts Eric Romich and John Hay from The Ohio State University and University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Registrationhttps://go.unl.edu/v3xw

BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE LAW NEWS & RESOURCES

Biden-Harris Administration Launches $1 Billion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Program to Enhance Energy Systems in Rural and Remote Communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), today issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public input on a new $1 billion program to improve energy generation in rural or remote communities across the country. Funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) program will strengthen the resilience, reliability, and availability of energy systems, helping communities unlock the public health and cost-saving benefits cleaner, more efficient energy provides. The new program reflects the Biden-Harris Administration’s continued commitment to ensuring no communities are left behind in the historic transition to a clean energy future. 

“For America to flourish, rural America must succeed,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm.“Thanks to the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, DOE is making critical investments in energy infrastructure that strengthens the foundation of rural communities in America.”

Build.Gov Website Resources

How you can help build a better America:

US DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Tackling the Climate Crisis; Prioritizing Action on Climate Change for a More Equitable and Sustainable Future

“At the Department of the Interior, I believe we have a unique opportunity to make our communities more resilient to climate change and to help lead the transition to a clean energy economy.” —Secretary Deb Haaland 

The United States faces a profound climate crisis, and the Department of the Interior is poised to take action to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of that crisis and meet the moment. The climate crisis is transforming where and how we live and presents growing challenges to human health and quality of life, the economy, and the natural systems that support us. In 2020, the United States experienced 22 extreme weather and climate-related disaster events, with a cumulative price tag of nearly $100 billion

U.S. Department of Interior YouTube Videos

FROM CANARY MEDIA

SUN DAY CAMPAIGN REVIEW

FERC foresees 67.1 GW of new US solar and 17.5 GW of wind over next 3 years, Renewables Now
According to a review by the SUN DAY Campaign of data recently released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), renewable sources accounted for almost 70% of the new US electrical generating capacity added during the first eight months of 2022. Moreover, net new “high probability” additions by solar and wind over the next three years are now projected to be more than 26-times that of natural gas.

About the Author: Ken Bossong is Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign, a non-profit research and educational organiсation promoting sustainable energy technologies as cost-effective alternatives to nuclear power and fossil fuels.

Inflation Reduction Act could curb climate damages by up to $1.9 trillion, White House says

By Emma Newburger, CNBC

The analysis by the Office of Management and Budget, which administers the federal budget, is the first published estimate of avoided climate-related social costs resulting from legislation. The social cost of carbon is an estimate of the economic costs that would occur from a future level of carbon pollution.

The bill’s climate provisions are projected to reduce the country’s carbon emissions by roughly 40% by 2030. Early in his presidency, President Joe Biden pledged to reduce U.S. emissions from 2005 levels at least in half by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Read more here.

Office of Management and Budget Analysis: The Social Benefits Of The Inflation Reduction Act’s Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions (4-page PDF)

NEW RESEARCH ON PUBLIC PERCEPTIONS ABOUT CLIMATE CONCERN

Americans don’t think other Americans care about climate change as much as they do, CNBC
That’s the rough takeaway from research published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.

  • Between 80 and 90 percent of Americans underestimate the concern their fellow Americans have for climate change and their support for “transformative” mitigation policies, according to research published Tuesday.
  • Between 66 and 80 percent of Americans support such policies, but they think that only between 37 and 43 percent of their peers hold that sentiment.
  • This kind of psychological disconnect is especially problematic in addressing climate change because it requires collective action.

AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

What’s in the Inflation Reduction Act for Agriculture?

The final bill includes nearly $40 billion for agriculture, forestry and rural development. This includes nearly $20 billion in funding for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), plus technical assistance.

In addition, it includes $14 billion for rural development to support the development of renewable energy and spending on biofuels infrastructure. The bill also provides $4 billion to mitigate the impacts of drought in the Western Reclamation states, with priority given to the Colorado River Basin and other basins experiencing comparable levels of long-term drought. 

USDA NEWS RELEASE

USDA Invests $121 Million in Critical Infrastructure to Combat Climate Change Across Rural America, August 24, 2022
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Dr. Jewel Bronaugh today announced USDA is investing $121 million in critical infrastructure to combat climate change across rural America. The investments include $111 million for 289 projects to help people living in socially vulnerable communities.

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY BLOG

How to Start Your Career in Clean Energy

This Energy.gov blog post was written by Isabelle Hamilton, an intern in the Office of Public Affairs. To learn more about internship opportunities available at the Department of Energy, visit the Department of Energy’s Students and Recent Graduates career page.


ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Proposes New Standards for National Electric Vehicle Charging Network

The White House Briefing Room, June 9, 2022

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Investments to Enable Families to Plug-In,
Charge Up, and Drive Across America

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing new steps to meet President Biden’s goal to build out the first-ever national network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers along America’s highways and in communities, a key piece of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The Department of Transportation, in partnership with the Department of Energy, is proposing new standards to make charging electric vehicles (EVs) a convenient, reliable, and affordable for all Americans, including when driving long distances. Without strong standards, chargers would be less reliable, may not work for all cars, or lack common payment methods. The new standards will ensure everyone can use the network –no matter what car you drive or which state you charge in. Continue reading here.

Related 

  • Department of Transportation: Network of User-Friendly, Reliable, and Accessible Electric Vehicle Chargers
  • Nebraska Department of Transportation: National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program. Over the next five years, Nebraska will have access to $30.2 million (~$6 million/year) in formula funds for EV charging infrastructure while also still being able to compete for a portion of an additional $2.5 billion in discretionary grant funding. This funding supports the Administration’s goal of expanding EV charging stations along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs) and other corridors that could be identified in the state.With guidance from U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT), NDOT will collaborate with key stakeholders such as public power districts, communities along routes, planning partners, and businesses on EV charging development. The initial statewide plan will be submitted to our federal partners before August 1, 2022. Click here to learn more and take a survey.

Additional Recommended Reading

FACT SHEET: Tackling Climate Change and Creating Clean Energy Jobs in the Americas,White House Briefing Room

Creighton University 1st Place Winner in Department of Energy’s Solar District Cup Class of 2021-2022

On April 25, 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the first-, second-, and third-place winners in each division. Following the announcement, the three first-place teams presented to a public audience, who voted for the Project Pitch Champions.

“The Solar District Cup convenes college competitors to accelerate the transition to the clean energy future and to reimagine how energy is generated, managed, and used in a district energy system. The Creighton team designed a proposed distributed energy system for Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. Their proposal included strong photovoltaics system design, tracker angular rotation schedule, distribution analysis, and financial analyses.”

The Solar District Cup is directed and administered by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and is funded by the DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office. Learn more here.

Conservation Nebraska Event This Saturday!


One of the students representing Creighton University in the competition was Max Markuson DiPrince, who will be Conservation Nebraska’s guest speaker this Saturday, April 30th at 10 a.m. for a virtual presentation that was recently announced in our: Special Earth Month Edition Newsletter.

Register to attend the event at the link provided.

DOE Releases Guidebook to Boost Solar Energy Use in Communities

U.S. Department of Energy News Release

DOE’s “Solar Power in Your Community” Provides Proven Strategies for Local Governments to Increase Equitable Access to Clean Power, Solar App+ Online Tool Cuts Solar Permit Time to Less than One Day

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today released the third edition of Solar Power in Your Community,” DOE’s guidebook to help local governments unlock environmental and economic benefits of increased solar deployment in their communities. This latest edition contains nearly 40 case studies from around the country that show field-tested approaches to reduce solar market barriers, highlights new technologies and strategies to maximize the benefits of solar, such as combining solar with energy storage to improve resilience, and emphasizes strategies for improving the equity of solar deployment at the local level. These efforts support the deployment of more solar energy to reach the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals of achieving 100% clean electricity by 2035 and a net-zero economy by 2050.  

“DOE’s solar guidebook is a must-have reference for local governments interested in using proven strategies to speed up going solar and cut energy bills for their residents,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “From reducing solar permitting delays and other soft costs to expanding solar benefits to renters and other non-traditional solar users, we’re providing more localities with the tools to succeed in delivering cheaper, cleaner power while generating good-paying local jobs.” 

The Solar Power in Your Community guidebook is a one-stop-shop for information about solar deployment, providing best practices, case studies, and links to resources developed by DOE, the National Laboratories, and other trusted sources.  

Since the guidebook was originally published in 2009, solar power costs have decreased 80% and federal incentives have spurred dramatic increases in solar deployment. However, soft costs like unnecessary paperwork, red tape, and other burdensome requirements increase costs and discourage solar companies from moving to an area. By streamlining these requirements and taking other steps to encourage solar development, DOE is supporting communities to become “open for solar business.” 

DOE’s solar guidebook encourages local governments to: 

  • Adopt SolarAPP+ tool to rapidly approve residential solar installation permits:
    DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory released results from its SolarAPP+ (Solar Automated Permit Processing) tool pilot in five communities in California and Arizona. The results show that SolarAPP+ reduced the average permit review time to less than one day, enabled projects to be installed and inspected 12 days faster, and saved the pilot communities over 2,000 hours of staff time. Learn more about the results and sign up to use the tool
  • Join the SolSmart 60 campaign to expand solar deployment: The SolSmart 60 Campaign aims to get 60 new communities designated as SolSmart Gold, Silver, or Bronze for making it faster, easier, and more affordable to go solar. So far, 21 local communities have earned distinction for their solar deployment practices since September 2021. The program offers free technical assistance to help any municipality, county, or regional organization remove obstacles to going solar and reduce the soft costs that can hold back growth. SolSmart’s team of national experts in solar energy and local government have helped these jurisdictions implement best practices and take decisive action to encourage the expansion of solar energy. 
  • Receive free technical assistance to develop community solar programs: The National Community Solar Partnership is a coalition of community solar stakeholders working to expand access to community solar, particularly to those with low-to-moderate incomes, renters, and other community members for whom traditional rooftop solar is unavailable. Local governments can join the partnership to receive free technical assistance to develop community solar programs. 

As part of DOE’s effort to ensure that local governments know about DOE resources, Secretary Granholm will keynote the Annual Summit of the National Community Solar Partnership on January 25 at 10 a.m. Central Time. The Secretary will discuss community solar deployment with Governor Jay Inslee of Washington and Governor JB Pritzker of Illinois. 

For regular event updates and access to exclusive National Community Solar Partnership resources and opportunities, register to join the Partnership. Membership is free and open to any community solar stakeholder in the U.S.

If you have any questions, please reach out to communitysolar@ee.doe.gov for more information.

2022 Outlook: Top US power sector trends to watch

By Kavya Balaraman, Ethan Howland, Robert Walton, Iulia Gheorghiu

This is the first piece in Utility Dive’s four-part 2022 outlook series
examining key policies and trends driving the U.S. power sector.

At the start of the Biden administration’s second year, government agencies are beginning to implement the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the bipartisan infrastructure package Congress passed last year. Concerns remain high about the reliability and security of the U.S. power grid, and the future of the Build Back Better bill and its clean-energy provisions remains uncertain. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which now has a Democratic majority and a full complement of commissioners, is poised to play a key role in how much the administration’s climate and energy policies advance. Read more here.

Second Part of Utility Dive’s 2022 Outlook Series: A new recognition is coming of rate design’s critical role in the energy transition, by Herman K. Trabish

ENERGY STORAGE

‘Large quantities of energy storage’ can balance the US grid all-year-round, NREL study finds,
by Andy Colthorpe, Energy Storage News

The synergies between diurnal energy storage and solar PV are better than for wind energy, although it will have an important role to play in integrating both renewable energy types, the study found.

According to a new report from the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), energy storage’s ability to store overgeneration from solar and wind power plants means it can contribute to the energy mix when most needed, even in the most conservative scenarios of variable renewable energy deployment. Photo Credit: Dennis Schroeder / NREL

Also by Andy Colthorpe: North America’s largest Li-ion battery recycling giga-facility to ‘take on as much as possible’ from ESS sector, Energy Storage News

ARTICLES WRITTEN BY TINA CASEY FOR CLEAN TECHNICA

Energy Efficient, Transparent Solar Windows: You Really Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet
More than 20 billion square feet of windows are installed every year, and the leading firm Andersen Corporation apparently plans to make some of those billions into energy efficient, transparent solar energy generators that could kick the pace of global energy decarbonization into high gear.

The Solid-State Energy Storage Dam Is About To Bust Wide Open
Electric vehicles are supposed to be the biggest market for new solid-state battery technology, but stationary energy storage is suddenly in the running, too.

ENVIRONMENT AMERICA NEWS RELEASE & REPORT

President Biden’s first year in office marks progress on numerous environmental fronts

The progress report, President Biden’s First Year: A year of restoring lost environmental protections, documents the Biden administration’s work on 20 “priority actions” that enjoy broad support and have significant environmental impact. Although much of the media attention this past year has focused on big ticket bills like the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Build Back Better Act, which still has an uncertain fate in Congress, the actions highlighted in the report are worthy of recognition as well. These include:

NEBRASKA IN THE NEWS HERE

DOWNLOADABLE COLORING BOOK

Solar Energy Workbook

Download and color this FREE copy of the Solar Energy Workbook, then send it back to the American Solar Energy Society as a PDF. The organization will review it and reward you with an International Certificate “as appreciation of your dedication and efforts.” Click the above link for complete instructions.

DOE Kicks Off Recruitment to Support Implementation of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

U.S. Department of Energy News Release

“Clean Energy Corps” Hiring Campaign and Applicant Portal To Streamline
The Largest DOE Staff Expansion In More Than Four Decades

“This is an open call for all Americans who are passionate about taking a proactive role in tackling the climate crisis and want to join the team that is best positioned to lead this transformative work,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Solving the world’s greatest challenge will require the inclusion of all voices, perspectives and experiences – and we need people like you to ensure that DOE fulfills on our commitment to accelerating the clean energy transition to reduce emissions and save our planet.” 

The Department is now collecting resumes for the Clean Energy Corps through the newly launched DOE Applicant Portal, part of a streamlined application process that will allow applicants to align their talents with their passions by indicating specific areas of interest and allowing hiring managers to review candidate profiles simultaneously. The Department will assemble the Clean Energy Corps to mirror the diversity within America and ensure the inclusion of workers who have lived in communities impacted by climate change. DOE is seeking candidates with interest in leading the clean energy transition through the following industries: Read more here.

  • Watch Secretary Granholm’s message for Clean Energy Corps applicants HERE.
  • Anyone interested in joining the Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Corps can submit their resume, skills, and areas of interest at energy.gov/cleanenergycorps.  

Additional Recommended Reading

FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Hits the Ground Running 60 Days into Infrastructure Implementation, The White House Briefing Room

DOE Upgrades One Million Homes as Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Provides Massive Investment in Energy Efficiency

Department of Energy News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm traveled to Delaware today to announce that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has upgraded one million American homes with energy efficiency improvements through the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program. The trip and milestone underscore the importance of the weatherization and energy efficiency investments that are within the recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal. Since 2001, the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program has helped American homeowners and renters save $7.7 billion on their energy bills and cut carbon emissions equivalent to a year’s worth of 11 coal-fired power plants.  

“DOE’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program has helped one million homeowners make energy-savings improvements at an affordable price,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “With the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal’s historic investments in energy efficiency and weatherization, we will ensure more Americans can benefit from cleaner air, more resilient homes, and lower energy bills.” Read more here.

Visit the Building Technologies Office to learn more about DOE’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program.

MORE ON THE BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE BILL

The White House Briefing Room

Reuters: US Energy Dept to hire 1,000 workers in infrastructure boost, officials say

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING & RESOURCES

USDA NEWS RELEASE

USDA Announces Scholars Programs for Students at Historically Black and Tribal Land-Grant Colleges and Universities

Free SEIA Webinar for Solar Employers Tomorrow!

Veteran Recruiting & Retention: Practical Strategies for a
Veteran-Inclusive Workplace

November 9, 2021 | 12:00-1:00 PM CT

As the solar industry continues its rapid growth, we must build back better by creating a more diverse, inclusive, and resilient workforce. Military veterans have both technical and soft skills that are essential to our quickly expanding industry.

Is your company interested in recruiting and retaining veterans but not sure where to start? Join SEIA’s free webinar tomorrow to gain practical insight into military talent recruiting, hiring, and retention strategies and tips. Participants will hear from veteran recruiting experts and various solar employers that have successfully implemented these recruitment strategies. 

Webinar Speakers


This webinar is part of the Solar Ready Vets Network, which aims to connect transitioning service members and military veterans with careers in solar. Funding for this project is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy.