A shift to clean energy and carbon footprint reductions have been some of the major goals for the Biden administration regarding their fight against climate change. Making the associated changes can be quite costly and difficult for manufacturers to do on their own. In an effort to help alleviate these issues, the Department of Energy is taking steps to help supply manufacturers with making this change, and achieve the climate goals laid out by the administration.
On Monday, the Department announced that they would be putting up to $52.5 million towards their Industrial Assessment Centers, which help manufacturers and wastewater treatment plants become more efficient, save on costs, and reduce their carbon footprint. These university-based training programs also help to create a pipeline for students who are looking to work in the clean energy sector.
According to Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, the programs are “proof that big climate investments can help small businesses reduce their emissions and increase their efficiency while saving them thousands of dollars.” Granholm also said that the new funding “is an investment in both the infrastructure and next-generation clean energy workforce we need to tackle the climate emergency and meet President Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
Along with training students, the Industrial Assessment Centers also provide no-cost efficiency improvement recommendations to both small- and medium-sized businesses. Recommendations include ways to save on water and energy costs, waste reduction, cybersecurity, productivity improvements, and smart manufacturing opportunities. Not only do these help manufacturers improve their overall efficiency, but they also help them reduce their impact on greenhouse gas emissions. The new funding will go to 25 to 35 different universities, which are expected to receive $1.5 to $2.25 million over 5 years.