The U.S. Department of Energy has declared a staggering $18.4m funding boost for projects commercialising clean energy technologies.
On 14 July 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced funding worth $18.4m for national laboratory projects through the Technology Commercialisation Fund (TCF). This funding is being awarded to seven national laboratories in order to facilitate projects working towards commercialising clean energy technologies. The full list of projects can be found on the Department of Energy website.
Towards net zero by 2050
The selected projects will investigate the obstacles that currently stand in the way of bringing clean energy technologies to the marketplace. On top of this, accelerating commercialisation pathways falls in line with President Biden’s goal of implementing clean energy to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 while reinforcing the American economy with greater domestic production and the establishment of more skilled jobs.
“Accelerating how quickly we get novel technologies to the marketplace will allow us to deploy the clean energy sources needed to combat climate change, lower energy costs, and keep us on course to reaching President Biden’s decarbonisation goals,” explained U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “DOE’s national laboratories are stepping up to address the urgent need to develop solutions for expedited clean energy technology commercialisation – from the time a product is researched, developed and patented to its widespread use.”
Overcoming barriers to commercialising clean energy technologies
The development of clean energy technologies and their implementation will play a vital role in achieving the nation’s climate goals, however, the current commercialisation of these technologies faces significant barriers. The seven selected lab projects will employ a holistic methodology to detect and overcome common barriers that clean energy technology companies encounter when attempting to commercialise a product.
The TCF, which was set up by Congress via the 2005 Energy Policy Act and re-authorised by the Energy Act of 2020, offers greater flexibility to encourage promising energy technologies. On 15 February 2022, nine DOE programme offices subsequently released the ‘Core Laboratory Infrastructure for Commercialisation,’ a novel call for national laboratories to expand infrastructure for clean energy technology commercialisation.
Empowering national laboratories
“I authored the legislation that established this revamped version of the Technology Commercialisation Fund at the Department of Energy,” commented U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (NM). “I am thrilled that these awards will empower our national labs—including Sandia in New Mexico—to build strong partnerships with local private sector start-up companies and grow commercialisation and manufacturing ecosystems around the promising clean energy technologies developed by Department of Energy researchers.”
“New Mexico’s National Laboratories play a central role in strengthening our nation’s scientific leadership and our economy,” concluded U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (NM). “In Congress, I am proud to have championed and led bipartisan initiatives in the House and Senate competition packages to support the lab’s research and development efforts in the industries of the future; to modernise our lab’s infrastructure; and to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative technologies. Today’s announcement of over $18m in investments in our Labs from the DOE’s Technology Commercialisation Fund represents a key investment in the United States’ STEM workforce, its long-term economic competitiveness, and a better quality of life for New Mexicans and all Americans.”