This blog post was written by Todd Echols, an intern in the Office of Public Affairs. To learn more about internship opportunities available at the Department of Energy, please visit our Students and Recent Graduates career page

President Carter signing a bill

Innovation for the nation's energy sources has always been, and continues to be, a core mission of the Department of Energy (DOE). In fact, it was at the very heart of DOE’s creation 45 years ago today — August 4, 1977 — when President Jimmy Carter signed into law The Department of Energy Organization Act of 1977. 

By establishing DOE, the Act created a central federal agency dedicated to energy regulation, energy conservation, and the research and development of energy technologies. Under the leadership of President Joe Biden and Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, and with the passage of the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, DOE now has more resources at its disposal than ever before to drive innovation and deployment in clean energy. 

This work aims to ensure the U.S. is prepared to combat the climate crisis and achieve the President’s targets of both a 50-52 percent reduction of greenhouse gas pollution from 2005 levels by 2030 and reaching net zero emissions economy-wide by no later than 2050. 

To commemorate President Carter’s signing of the bill that created DOE 45 years ago, here are 45 actions DOE has taken under the Biden Administration to advance clean energy, lower energy bills, create good-paying jobs, and ensure energy justice for the American people.

President Biden giving a speech

Expanding Clean Energy

  1. Brought more clean energy technologies to the marketplace by streamlining pathways and addressing barriers to commercialization. 

  1. Worked towards decarbonizing the American industrial sector and clean energy manufacturing through funding projects housed within industry, universities, and the National Labs. 

  1. Authorized the use of the Defense Production Act to restore our domestic manufacturing backbone and get more American workers building key clean energy technologies. 

  1. Started the Net Zero Labs (NZL) Pilot Initiative to lay the foundation for one of the first-ever models for addressing hard-to-decarbonize industries. 

  1. Took bold action to help secure America’s clean energy supply chain , including dozens of critical strategies to build a secure, resilient, and diverse domestic energy sector, by releasing a first-of-its-kind comprehensive strategy. 

  1. Designed optimal approaches for accelerating progress, reducing costs, and ramping up the use of hydrogen as a clean energy source by working with stakeholders. 

  1. Moved to boost production of advanced batteries that are critical to rapidly growing clean energy industries of the future, including electric vehicles and energy storage.  

  1. Implemented the Civil Nuclear Credit Program to support the continued operation of U.S. nuclear reactors, the nation’s largest source of clean power. 

  1. Established the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, a new DOE office that delivers clean energy demonstration projects in partnership with the private sector to accelerate market adoption and deployment of technologies. 

  1. Began the Long Duration Energy Storage for Everyone, Everywhere Initiative – aimed at delivering affordable, reliable clean electricity – by working with the public. 

  1. Awarded Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) funding to marshal regional resources towards development of new energy technologies and new businesses that can bring them to market.  

  1. Launched DOE’s Building a Better Grid Initiative, which formed the Transmission Facilitation Program to provide Federal support to overcome the financial hurdles of connecting microgrids and large-scale new transmission lines.  

Installing solar panels

Supporting Energy Jobs and Small Businesses 

  1. Provided funding to support 259 small business projects in 38 states that work on clean energy security, energy storage, and carbon capture in disadvantaged communities. 

  1. Provided for long-term jobs, reduced local air pollution, and lowered utility costs for energy-overburdened communities by creating community-wide action plans. 

  1. Awarded funding to diverse small businesses for clean energy and climate solutions, including improved batteries for electric vehicles. 

  1. Released funding for small businesses to work on projects ranging from energy technology and sustainable agriculture to atmospheric monitoring and carbon removal. 

  1. Released funding for women-owned and small businesses who are working on novel solutions for solar and hydrogen power, carbon capture, artificial intelligence, electric vehicle batteries and more. 

  1. Awarded funding for 102 small business projects in 24 states that are pursuing advanced manufacturing of wind turbines and batteries, new instruments for atmospheric measurement, and particle accelerator technologies. 

Wind power farm

Advancing Energy Technology 

  1. Supported development of a next-generation electric heat pump that can save families money by more effectively heating homes in northern climates by partnering with private industry. 

  1. Advanced novel technologies for electric vehicles, offshore wind, and nuclear recycling by funding high-impact, high-risk projects spanning 22 states and coordinated at universities, national laboratories, and private companies. 

  1. Finalized the first loan guarantee for a new clean energy technology project from DOE’s Loan Programs Office since 2014 to build the largest clean hydrogen storage facility in the world. 

  1. Helped communities, industries and businesses reduce emissions, promote energy efficiency, and drive grid modernization by supporting the deployment of novel technologies. 

  1. Advanced efforts to produce clean hydrogen energy from nuclear power, allowing for clean hydrogen to serve as a source for zero-carbon electricity, by funding innovative technology. 

  1. Established the Joint Energy and Transportation Office with DOE and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to build out a national electric vehicle charging network

  1. Aided the development of new technologies that will help secure the supply of critical minerals for building clean energy technologies by funding National Lab and university-led research projects.  

  1. Supported integrating reliable clean energy sources onto the grid by funding a wide range of projects. 

  1. Launched development of next-generation clean hydrogen technologies Launched the development of next-generation clean hydrogen technologies by funding DOE’s Hydrogen Energy Earthshot initiative to reduce costs and accelerate breakthroughs in the clean hydrogen sector. 

  1. Moved to expand direct air capture technology, a carbon dioxide removal approach that extracts emissions from the atmosphere, by funding research and development projects. 

  1. Launched the Electric Vehicles for American Low-Carbon Living (EVs4ALL) program to develop more affordable, convenient, efficient, and resilient EV batteries. 

  1. Invested in the creation of new, retrofitted domestic commercial facilities, as well as manufacturing demonstrations and battery recycling. 

Secretary Jennifer Granholm

Fighting for Environmental and Energy Justice 

  1. In support of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, launched list of 146 DOE programs to provide a pathway for equitable clean energy deployment to benefit communities that are overburdened, underserved, and have been disproportionately impacted by climate change and environmental injustice. 

  1. Launched the Local Energy Action Program (LEAP) — an initiative designed to help environmental justice communities and communities with historical ties to fossil fuel industries take direct control of their clean energy future. 

  1. Funded projects that inform offshore wind siting, permitting, and help protect wildlife and fisheries as offshore wind deployment increases.  

  1. Created the Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize — a first-of-its-kind competition designed to support entrepreneurship and innovation in communities historically underserved in federal climate and energy technology funding.  

  1. Supported the development of community-centered solutions, business plans, and experimental demonstrations for energy recovery from organic waste streams, such as food waste and animal manure. 

  1. Improved the resilience, safety, reliability, and availability of energy in rural and remote communities with populations of 10,000 or less through Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding. 

  1. Focused on remediating pollution from coal-based electricity generation and supported carbon capture to generate low-carbon power by providing funding for student training and research.  

A solar energy farm

Accelerating Solar Energy 

  1. Increased the reuse and recycling of solar technologies by funding critical research. 

  1. Launched increased efforts for solar energy deployment in underserved communities and for building a diverse, skilled workforce.  

  1. Funded projects that will reduce the cost of solar technologies by increasing the lifespan of photovoltaic (PV) systems from 30 to 50 years. 

Power stacks

Boosting Geothermal Energy 

  1. Acted to create jobs and reduce carbon emissions by funding geothermal energy projects on former mine lands. 

  1. Helped to spur further growth of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) and provide valuable information about EGS in the field by increasing funding for pilot demonstration projects. 

  1. Worked to make geothermal systems more efficient for clean energy production and to unlock the full potential of geothermal power by providing funding to scientists and engineers. 

Secretary Granholm with others

Building Energy Partnerships 

  1. Launched the Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange (i2X) — a partnership funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that works to interconnect clean energy and energy storage resources to the distribution and bulk power grids.  

  1. Funded DOE’s Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC), which bring together diverse teams of scientists to collaborate on early-stage research for clean energy technology, low-carbon manufacturing, and quantum information science.