This article discusses the approximate $35.2 billion allocated for energy initiatives in the new COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Package, which is split between the Energy Act of 2020 and the Energy for the Environment Act. “[The Energy Act of 2020] is a bipartisan, bicameral energy innovation package that authorizes over $35 billion in RD&D activities across DOE’s portfolio and strengthens or creates programs crucial to advancing new technologies into the market,” a summary document for the legislation reads.
There’s $1.5 billion for new solar technologies including modules, concentrating solar technology, new photovoltaic technologies and initiatives to expand solar manufacturing and recycling technologies. $2.6 billion is set aside for transportation technologies. Finally, energy-efficiency and weatherization programs are continuing to be supported through a $1.7 billion reauthorization of the Weatherization Assistance Program. Energy-grid technologies get a $3.44 billion boost through $1.08 billion in support for short-term, long-term, seasonal and transportation energy storage technologies and $2.36 billion for smart utility and energy distribution technologies. Another $625 million is dedicated to new research, development and commercialization for both onshore and offshore wind technologies. $850 million is being set aside for geothermal technology development and $933 million for marine energy and hydropower tech. Finally, there’s $160 million earmarked for hydropower generator upgrades, and upgrades to existing federal infrastructure through $180 million earmarked to the Federal Energy Management Program. Nuclear technologies are also getting their day in the sun thanks to $6.6 billion in funding for the modernization of existing nuclear power plants and the development of advanced reactors. In an attempt to ensure that the money and innovation is used in the industries where decarbonization is the most technically challenging, there’s a $500 million pot for stakeholders in industries like iron, steel, aluminum, cement and chemicals as well as transportation businesses like shipping, aviation and long-distance transport that are looking to decarbonize. Congress is also approving a $447 million research and development program for large-scale commercial carbon dioxide removal projects — with a $100 million carve out grant for direct air capture competition at facilities that capture at least 50,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. To cap it off, the new energy bill includes a directive to the Department of the Interior to target the generation of 25 gigawatts of solar, wind and geothermal production on public lands by 2025.
Anonymous, "New Stimulus Includes $35.2 Billion for New Energy Initiatives", contributed by Morgan Sarao, The Energy Rights Project, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 4 January 2021, accessed 29 November 2023. https://energyrights.info/content/new-stimulus-includes-352-billion-new-energy-initiatives