The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a list of its top accomplishments in 2022. Read the full list below.
Fusion Energy Breakthrough: In December, scientists at the National Ignition Facility at DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory achieved fusion ignition, creating more energy from fusion reactions than the energy used to start the process. It was the first time this has ever been achieved in a laboratory making it one of the most impressive scientific feats in recent history. The DOE believes that this milestone brings society closer to the possibility of zero-carbon, abundant fusion energy.
Protecting Global Energy Security: In the wake of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February, DOE jumped into action to support our allies and partners in Europe while working to stabilize the global oil market and offer relief to Americans facing high gas prices. In coordination with the International Energy Agency and 30 other nations, the U.S. released 190 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, alleviating a supply disruption and helping lower the price of gas in the U.S. by up to 40 cents. Gasoline is now nearly $2 cheaper than it was at its June 2022 peak—and it hasn’t been this low since June 2021.
The Inflation Reduction Act: Signed by President Biden in August, the act makes the biggest investment in clean energy and climate action in U.S. history, with tax credits and rebates for a wide variety of clean energy technologies. The law includes approximately $35 billion for DOE and authorizes $350 billion in new loan authority and guarantees for our Loan Programs Office.
The CHIPS and Science Act: Signed by President Biden in July, the CHIPS and Science Act authorizes $67 billion for DOE, including a $50 billion authorization for our Office of Science to enable cutting-edge research and development in clean energy and advanced computing and manufacturing. The law also authorizes investments in the National Lab infrastructure and establishes the Foundation for Energy Security and Innovation, which will help create and deploy technologies of the future.
Implementing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: It has been a year since the law was introduced. Highlights include:
- Launch of the Clean Energy Corps to hire hundreds of new staff to support our work connected to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
- Launch of the Building a Better Grid initiative to catalyze the nationwide development of new and upgraded high-capacity electric transmission lines.
- Approval of EV charging plans for 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico so communities can begin building out their EV charging networks supported by $5 billion in funding.
- Applications opened for a new $7 billion program to create between six and ten regional clean hydrogen hubs in the U.S.
- $2.8 billion in battery manufacturing grants awarded in twelve different states to bolster domestic supply chain for EVs and grid storage.
- Diablo Canyon Power Plant in California selected to receive the first round of funding from the Civil Nuclear Credit Program. This funding will support the continued operations of an important source of zero-carbon power and good-paying clean energy jobs.
Accelerating Clean Energy Breakthroughs: DOE added three new Energy Earthshots to its initiative to dramatically cut costs for lynchpin technologies over the next decade that will help achieve 100% clean power and net-zero carbon pollution.
- The Floating Offshore Wind Shot seeks to reduce the cost of floating offshore wind energy by at least 70%, to $45 per megawatt-hour, by 2035 for deep sites far from shore.
- The Enhanced Geothermal Shot seeks to reduce the cost of enhanced geothermal systems by 90%, to $45 per megawatt hour, by 2035. Investments in EGS can unlock affordable clean energy for over 40 million American homes and exponentially increase opportunities for geothermal heating and cooling solutions nationwide.
- The Industrial Heat Shot aims to develop cost-competitive industrial heat decarbonization technologies with at least 85% lower greenhouse gas pollution by 2035.
Loans Out the Door: In 2022, our Loan Programs Office (LPO) made its first loans in over three years. In June, LPO announced a $504 million loan guarantee to the Advanced Clean Energy Storage project in Utah to help finance the construction of the largest clean hydrogen storage facility in the world—LPO’s first loan guarantee for a clean energy project in nearly a decade. The following month, LPO announced the financial close for a $102.1 million loan to Syrah Technologies for the expansion of a processing facility for a critical material used in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and other clean energy technologies—the first loan from the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program in over a decade. In December, LPO announced a $2.5 billion loan to Ultium Cells to build help finance the construction of new lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Tennessee, and Michigan to support the domestic EV industry.
Hosted a World Premier Clean Energy Conference: In September, DOE hosted delegations from 33 countries, over 400 energy CEOs, and thousands of industry and advocacy leaders in Pittsburgh for the first-ever Global Clean Energy Action Forum. The event also convened the 13th Clean Energy Ministerial and 7th Mission Innovation Ministerial, two essential international platforms for collaboration on clean energy innovation and deployment. At the Forum, Secretary Granholm announced commitments from 16 countries to invest $94 billion in clean energy demonstration projects, exceeding a goal set by President Biden in June and meeting it four years early.
Tribal Engagement: This year, DOE’s Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs hosted the seventh Tribal Energy Summit—and the first focused on clean energy and collaborative dialogue. The DOE awarded $9 million to 13 tribal communities to enhance their energy resilience and announced $35 million in new funding opportunities to deploy clean energy technology on Tribal lands and power unelectrified Tribal buildings. The DOE also extended direct lending to tribes through our Loan Programs Office and gained $20 billion in loan authority for projects on tribal lands through the IRA. In December, Secretary Granholm signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Navajo Nation to ensure the benefits of President Biden’s clean energy agenda are equitable, just, and inclusive of Tribal Nation partners.
Implementing Justice40 Initiative: In July, DOE released a list of 144 Justice40 covered programs across 23 program offices that support President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to ensure Federal agencies deliver 40% of the overall benefits of climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water, and other investments to disadvantaged communities
Westinghouse Nuclear Deal: Following DOE-led engagement with Poland on civil nuclear cooperation, Poland selected the U.S.-based nuclear power company Westinghouse to develop the country’s first nuclear reactors. The Westinghouse selection will create or sustain 62,500 jobs across the U.S. and help advance Europe’s shift away from Russian oil and gas.
Commitment to Puerto Rico: In February, DOE joined the Departments of Homeland Security and Housing and Urban Development, along with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, to enhance collaboration and kickstart the PR100 Study—a community-driven, locally tailored roadmap to help Puerto Rico meet its target of 100% renewable electricity, improve power sector resiliency, and increase access to more affordable energy and cleaner air. Following Hurricane Fiona, the Biden-Harris Administration doubled down on this effort with the creation of the Puerto Rico Grid Modernization and Recovery Team, led by DOE, to help identify and overcome impediments to rapid deployment of clean, reliable, affordable power infrastructure and to expedite current rebuilding activities.
Higher Standards for Climate Action: The Biden-Harris Administration has taken bold steps to increase energy efficiency standards and reduce carbon pollution from federal buildings, National Labs, and households throughout the country. DOE has announced new rules for stronger efficiency standards for light bulbs and for the first time ever, is establishing a firm timetable to reduce the government’s carbon footprint in new and existing federal facilities, which would save taxpayers $8 million annually. The Biden-Harris Administration has now taken more than 110 actions this year to strengthen energy efficiency standards and save the average family at least $100 annually through lower energy bills in the years to come.
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