Department of Energy

Department of Energy Year in Review - 2019

December 10, 2019

You are here

One incredible year. 2019 was full of accomplishments for DOE.

The Department of Energy (DOE), under the leadership of Secretary Dan Brouillette, is using the power of innovation to sustain and advance America’s astonishing energy abundance, increasing the country’s energy and national security, strengthening relationships with our allies around the world, and opening a future of security, prosperity, and opportunity.

On behalf of the American people, DOE’s Program Offices have compiled an impressive list of accomplishments for 2019. DOWNLOAD: 2019 ACCOMPLISHMENTS TWO-PAGER

ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY – ENERGY (ARPA-E)

Hosted 10th Annual Energy Innovation Summit

Background: In July, ARPA-E hosted its Energy Innovation Summit, and for the first time in its ten-year history took the Summit on the road to Denver, CO. The Summit drew over 1,600 attendees and featured C-Level speakers from Siemens USA, NREL, Xcel Energy, and BASF Corporation, as well as former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul J. Selva.

Announced Project Selections and FOAs

Background: In 2019, ARPA-E announced 59 project selections as part of its DIFFERENTIATE, ATLANTIS, HITEMMP and BREAKERS programs. ARPA-E also announced an additional 18 projects as a continuation of its first OPEN+ program for a total of 77 pioneering technology projects (to date).

Welcomed New Director Lane Genatowski

Background: ARPA-E welcomed its newest director, Lane Genatowski, to the Agency in July. Dir. Genatowski was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 29, 2019.

Released Updated Impact Numbers

Background: In March at ARPA-E’s Summit on the Hill, ARPA-E announced that since 2009, 77 companies have been formed by ARPA-E projects, 145 teams have attracted $2.9 billion in private follow-on funding, and teams have published 2,489 peer-reviewed journal articles and been issued 346 patents.

 

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND TECHNOLOGY OFFICE (AITO)

Established the Artificial Intelligence and Technology Office

Background: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an emerging technology that will be as transformative to our daily lives as electricity was to American society more than a century ago. 

  • In September, former Secretary Rick Perry announced the establishment of AITO to serve as the central point for the coordination and development of broad and extensive artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities for the Department and its national laboratory complex. 
  • Today, DOE and its national laboratories are leading more than 300 different AI projects that designed to strengthen our core missions of energy, cyber, and national security and to accelerate scientific discovery. With its unmatched legacy of championing scientific innovation, DOE is uniquely positioned – and already hard at work – to lead in this new area of discovery. And with AITO’s role formalized, it is organized to ensure that work is coordinated effectively.

World Leader in Supercomputing

Background: DOE houses two of the world’s fastest supercomputers, Summit at Oak Ridge and Sierra at Lawrence Livermore, and four of the top ten, enabling us to quickly analyze massive data sets and envision new possibilities putting us at the tip of the spear of America’s AI revolution. 

 

BOARDS AND COUNCILS

Activated the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB)  

Background: In 2019, DOE stood-up the SEAB. It has 16 members, including leaders of industry, science, academia and society. The Secretary charged the SEAB to investigate and provide guidance on Innovation and Artificial Intelligence, and two SEAB working groups have been established and are developing recommendations to the Secretary. 

Activated the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)

Background: In 2019, DOE – in conjunction with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy – stood-up the PCAST. The Council had its inaugural meeting in November.

 

CYBERSECURITY, ENERGY SECURITY AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE (CESER)

Advanced Cybersecurity Research and Development for Energy Delivery Systems

Background: CESER’s Cybersecurity for Energy Delivery Systems division awarded $36.9 million for thirteen projects to support the research, development, and demonstration of next-generation tools and technologies to improve the cybersecurity and resilience of the nation's energy critical infrastructure.

Developed and Identified the Energy Cybersecurity Workforce of Today and Tomorrow

Background: In November, DOE held its fifth CyberForce Competition hosted by ten national laboratories and featuring a professional-level pilot which included scoring that will be considered to identify highly qualified individuals for potential placement into the Department of Energy. 105 collegiate teams from 32 states and Puerto Rico participated in the CyberForce Competition – a nearly 67% increase in participation – over the prior year’s 63 teams from 24 states and Puerto Rico.  

Increased Energy Security Through Preparedness and Industry-Government Cooperation

Background: CESER leadership and staff participated, sponsored, supported, and/or developed 41 preparedness exercises bringing together federal, state, and local governments and partners from the oil and natural gas, and electricity sub-sectors for senior-level policy discussions and operationally-focused tactical engagement. That included CESER’s seventh iteration of the all-hazards focused Clear Path Exercise Series.

Led Emergency Response

Background: In 2019, CESER’s Infrastructure Security and Emergency Response (ISER) division led successful responses to multiple catastrophic hurricanes and typhoons – including Hurricane Dorian and Typhoon Bualoi – supported National Special Security Events, and monitored major wildfires. CESER’s Emergency Support Function #12 (ESF#12) team was activated for 79 days to date in 2019 and played an integral role in restoration, recovery, and energy security efforts in at least six states.

 

ECONOMIC IMPACT AND DIVERSITY (ED)

Established the Equity in Energy Initiative

Background: Equity in Energy is designed to include and expand the participation of individuals in underserved communities, including minorities as defined in the legislation establishing ED, as well as women, veterans and formerly incarcerated persons, in all of DOE’s programs.  

Released its First Funding Opportunity Announcement for Minority Education Workforce and Training (MEWT) Program in Opportunity Zones

Background: The funding announcement, for an aggregate of $20 million over five years, will support the MEWT program. That program is designed to foster collaboration among Minority Serving Institutions, Minority Business Enterprises, DOE program offices, industry, state and local government agencies, and other federal agencies to increase engagement and capabilities of underserved communities within STEM and energy fields.

Conducted Title IX Compliance Reviews

Background: DOE is required, pursuant to the America Competes Act, to conduct two compliance reviews annually under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. To date, DOE has completed more compliance reviews than any other federal agency and plans in the next fiscal year to double its compliance reviews under Title IX.   

Hired DOE’s First Corporate Reasonable Accommodation and Personal Assistant Services Program Manager

Background: This hiring reaffirms DOE’s commitment to providing qualified persons with disabilities opportunities to not only access the employment application process, but also to enjoy the benefits and privileges of meaningful work that all DOE employees share.

 

ELECTRICITY (OE)

Developed the North American Energy Resilience Model (NAERM)

Background: OE developed a static NAERM to understand risks to infrastructure and identify needed investments to improve system resilience across Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. The NAERM will be a first-of-its-kind energy resilience model that will enhance situational awareness across multiple critical sectors, including electric and gas.

Approved a Critical Decision for the Grid Storage Launchpad

Background: OE approved the critical decision-1 for the GSL in August 2019, which releases the project to proceed into the baseline development phase. The GSL will validate new technologies at earlier maturity stages and lower the time and expense of storage chemistry innovations.  

Advanced Electricity Industry Technology and Practices Innovation Challenge (EITPIC)

Background: OE awarded over $300,000 for the first EITPIC, designed to tap into American ingenuity for ideas on how to make the nation’s electric grid stronger and more resilient.

Finalized a Rule on Critical Electric Infrastructure Information

Background: OE is in the last stages of finalizing the rule implementing DOE’s CEII designation authority under the Federal Power Act. The rule establishes administrative procedures intended to ensure stakeholders and the public understand how the Department would designate, protect, and share CEII.

 

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND RENEWABLE ENERGY (EERE)

Announced DOE Energy-Water Desalination Hub

Background: As part of the White House Water Security Grand Challenge, DOE announced nearly $100 million for the National Alliance for Water Innovation to lead a DOE Energy-Water Desalination Hub, which will address water security issues in the United States. The Hub will focus on early-stage research and development for energy-efficient and cost-competitive desalination technologies.

Launched Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute

Background: In March, DOE announced up to $70 million for a Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute to develop technologies that will advance U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, energy efficiency, and innovation.

Expanded R&D on Energy Efficiency and Emissions Reductions with the Private Sector

Background: In May, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and other DOE National Laboratories announced a $100 million agreement with ExxonMobil, focused on transformative technologies that will improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions on a global scale. This stands out as the largest single external investment in research at NREL in the laboratory’s history.

Initiated the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize

Background: This prize addresses the need for innovative solutions that will enable the safe and affordable collection, sorting, storage, and transport of spent lithium ion batteries. Specifically, it aims to develop technologies that profitably capture 90% of all lithium-based battery technologies in the United States and recover 90% of the key materials from the collected batteries.

Initiated the Plastics Innovation Challenge 

Background: In November, DOE launched a comprehensive program to accelerate innovations in energy-efficient plastics recycling technologies. The Challenge will draw on fundamental and applied research capabilities within the National Laboratories, universities, and industry.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT (EM)

Made Significant Cleanup Progress

Background: Over the past year, DOE has made significant progress in the treatment and disposal of nuclear waste, and in the fulfillment of its promise to do so. 

            HQ: 

  • EM-HQ issued the Department’s interpretation of the term “high-level radioactive waste,” which could open up additional pathways to address one of the Department’s largest environmental challenges, tank waste, and expedite cleanup of DOE sites across the country.

Hanford

  • Completed transfer of K Basin radioactive sludge at Hanford to safer on-site storage away from the Columbia River, reducing environmental risks and further advancing DOE’s cleanup efforts along the river.  

Moab

  • Marked removal of 10M tons of uranium mill tailings (out of 16M tons) from the Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project site in Utah, protecting the Colorado River. 

Separations Process Research Unit (SPRU)

  • Completed the demolition of all buildings at the SPRU site in New York. This completed EM’s physical cleanup activities at this site. 

Idaho

  • Wrapped up transuranic waste treatment mission at Idaho’s Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project. Since 2003, AMWTP has processed transuranic waste stored at Idaho for off-site disposal.

Oak Ridge 

  • Began demolition on the Centrifuge Complex, the largest and most visible remaining structures at Oak Ridge’s East Tennessee Technology Park. The complex spans more than 235,000 square feet and sections of it reach heights of 180 feet. 

Savannah River

  • Broke ground on Saltstone Disposal Units (SDU) 8 and 9, designed to provide safe and permanent storage for decontaminated waste material at the Savannah River Site (SRS). Along with SDU 6 and 7, these large-scale units will result in substantial cost savings over the life of the SRS liquid waste project.

 

FOSSIL ENERGY (FE)

Led Substantial Increases in LNG Exports

Background: This year the U.S. saw significant growth in LNG exports. Two new large-scale terminals came online, and the U.S. is now exporting two cargos of LNG nearly every day, enough to support the daily combined natural gas needs of up to a half dozen European countries. 

  • In 2019, DOE granted 11 new long-term LNG export approvals, including the first two under the new small-scale export rule. 
  • FE also updated an analysis of the environmental impacts of LNG exports, which shows that the increased use of LNG carries environmental benefits to importing countries. 

Built Out the Coal-to-Products Program

Background: This year, FE built out the Coal-to-Products program. An analysis by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) showed that by 2050, coal-to-products has the potential to increase coal production by 123 million tons, create 14,725 coal mining jobs and 181,000 manufacturing jobs, as well as result in additional carbon product revenue of $89 billion per year. 

  • NETL researchers also used an in-house processing method to demonstrate that a penny’s worth of coal can be converted to one liter of graphene quantum dots suspended in water – worth about $50,000 – in just a few hours. This development has the potential to unlock new markets for domestic coal while reducing costs for electronics, batteries and other in-demand consumer goods.

Developed Oil and Natural Gas Field Laboratories

Background: FE has developed a suite of “field laboratory” test sites to carry out collaborative research that will help find ways of improving the recovery of energy resources as much as possible, with as little environmental impact as possible, from "unconventional" formations, such as shale and other low permeability rock formations. 

  • In 2019, FE added nine new field laboratories, increasing field research to 17 unique geological locations in support of a basin-specific research strategy. 
  • DOE is using data generated from each unique geological setting at the different field laboratories to enhance the characterization and improve the recovery efficiency of unconventional oil and natural gas reservoirs.  

Launched Coal FIRST (Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small & Transformative) Initiative

Background: FE launched the Coal FIRST initiative to develop the coal plant of the future needed to provide secure, stable, reliable power, with near zero emissions, including carbon dioxide capture.  

  • In 2019, from 13 Coal FIRST conceptual designs, FE competitively selected seven designs to advance the next level of engineering design. The selected concepts are receiving $7 million to complete preliminary front-end engineering design studies. 

 

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS (IA)

Advanced the Partnership for Transatlantic Energy Cooperation (P-TEC)

Background: DOE hosted two successful P-TEC Ministerial meetings with partner countries from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), who are on the front lines of Russian malign influence; established four P-TEC working groups with draft action plans to promote energy sector project development in CEE; and launched E-TEAM Assessments to deploy DOE Lab expertise in helping CEE countries identify energy vulnerabilities.

Prioritized U.S. LNG Exports 

Background: IA has focused on supporting infrastructure that creates demand for U.S. LNG, including engaging decision makers to increase investment in LNG receiving terminals and gas generation connected to them. Two recent successes are in Vietnam with the Son My LNG power project and the on shore regasification expansion and FSRU project in Poland, as well as LNG efforts in Mexico and Germany.

  • Under the Baltic Strategic Energy 3+1 Dialogue, DOE is working with stakeholders to improve interconnectivity and expand natural gas infrastructure in the region to diversify fuel sources and promote U.S. LNG.
  • Under the P-TEC framework, DOE works with the governments of Poland and Ukraine to expand gas interconnection infrastructure. 

Advanced Civilian International Nuclear Development

Background: IA collaborates with international partners to support the safe, secure, and peaceful use of nuclear energy working both bilaterally and multilaterally and in conjunction with NE and EM. 

  • IA has led engagement with the government of Poland in the pursuit of a “team USA” solution to their desire to develop a nuclear power program.
  • IA has led industry events across the world including recently the US-EU Small Modular Reactor (SMR) forum that highlighted the development of SMRs throughout the world. 
  • IA is working with Japan to enable the decommissioning of selected nuclear facilities, and in doing so advocated for a role for U.S. industry partners

 

LEGACY MANAGEMENT (LM)

Resumed Activities in the Uranium Leasing Program (ULP)

Background: ULP manages 31 lease tracts covering approximately 25,000 acres in the Uravan Mineral Belt in southwestern Colorado. It is contemplating the issuance of succeeding leases to current lease holders, and is well underway to preserving our nation’s ability to provide uninterrupted domestic uranium production.

Won a National Federal Facility Excellence in Site Reuse Award

Background: In November, the EPA presented LM with the National Federal Facility Excellence in Site Reuse award for Hamilton County Ohio’s Fernald Preserve. The award recognized Fernald’s remediation of a former Cold War production site in a way that allowed wetland, forest, and prairie communities to thrive and providing hiking trails and other site amenities for site visitors to enjoy.  

Transferred a Final Land Parcel to the Mound Development Corporation

Background: On November 5th, LM celebrated the transfer of its final land parcel to the Mound Business Park in Miamisburg, Ohio. Located at the site of a former Cold War laboratory, the Mound Business Park is a great example of LM’s commitment to long-term stewardship, beneficial reuse, and maintaining the legacy of Mound workers.

Completed a Clean Closure at Florida’s Pinellas Site

Background: This closure allows DOE/LM to terminate its access agreement with the property owner, providing the owner with full, unrestricted use of their property, and DOE/LM no longer incurring any long-term stewardship costs associated with the site.

Added a 100th Legacy Site to LM’s Portfolio

Background: The transfer of the Colonie, New York, site to LM from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers after the completion of remediation on Oct. 15 demonstrates DOE’s continued progress in cleanup and its commitment to protecting human health and the environment within communities that made sacrifices during WWII and the Cold War. 

Pursuing Environmental Justice

Background: In May DOE issued its Second Environmental Justice Five-Year Implementation Plan, which demonstrated the Department’s continued commitment to combining civil rights with environmental protection. 

 

LOAN PROGRAMS (LPO)

Supported the Advancement of U.S. Nuclear Leadership at Vogtle

Background: LPO has continued to work closely with the owners of Vogtle Units 3 & 4 as they advance the only new nuclear construction underway in the U.S. today. In March, LPO closed on up to $3.7 billion in additional loan guarantees for continued plant construction, and has now guaranteed a total of up to $12 billion in loans for the project.

Advanced Loans … and Reduced Emissions

Background: LPO’s statutory mandates require it to finance projects that reduce, prevent, or sequester greenhouse gas emissions, and support the manufacture of light-duty vehicles with improved fuel economy.  As of September 30, 2019, LPO projects have avoided at least 54 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.   

 

NATIONAL NUCLEAR SECURITY ADMINISTRATION (NNSA)

Completed the W76-1 Life Extension Program

Background: The W76‑1 Life Extension Program was completed under budget and ahead of schedule, strengthening the Nation’s safety and security by extending the warhead’s service life from 20 years to 60 years.

Advanced Exascale Computing

Background: NNSA signed a $600 million contract for its first exascale supercomputer, El Capitan, slated to be delivered in 2022 at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to support NNSA’s weapons programs.

Strengthened Nonproliferation and Counterterrorism

Background: NNSA completed its largest ever, multiyear removal campaign by transporting approximately 700 kilograms of excess highly enriched uranium (HEU) from the United Kingdom to the United States for downblending.

Built the Workforce of the Future

Background: NNSA held two job fairs in Washington, D.C. and hosted eight “Nuclear Security Enterprise Days” at universities across the country as part of a nationwide, integrated initiative with M&O partners to recruit the next generation of nuclear security experts. The two job fairs attracted over 2,500 candidates with approximately 100 tentative job offers made on-site.

Developed an Electrical Power Source for Deep Space Exploration

Background: The joint NNSA/NASA Kilopower team won a Gears of Government Award for developing an electrical power source to support long-duration crewed missions on the Moon, Mars and destinations beyond. 

Expedited Moly-99 Development

Background: U.S. industry producers were awarded $60 million to expedite the establishment of domestic supplies of molybdenum-99 produced without the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) in support of NNSA’s goal to minimize the use of HEU in civilian applications.

Prepared to Power the Navy’s Next-Generation Ballistic Missile Submarine

Background: Contracts were placed by Naval Reactors for reactor plant heavy equipment, including the lead ship reactor core, for the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine. This milestone helps ensure the Navy remains on track to construct, test, deliver, and deploy the vessels on schedule. 

 

NUCLEAR ENERGY (NE)

Welcomed Dr. Rita Baranwal 

Background: Dr. Baranwal was confirmed as Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy in June 2019 and is the first woman to lead the office. She takes over a $1.3 billion portfolio to promote the research and development of current and advanced nuclear technologies.

Established the National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC)

Background: This initiative could speed up the licensing and commercialization of advanced reactors. Led by Idaho National Laboratory, the National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC) provides a platform for private sector technology developers to assess the performance of their reactor concepts through testing and demonstration.

Supported the Development of Advanced Nuclear Technologies 

Background: DOE has invested more than $170 million over the last two years to accelerate the development of advanced nuclear reactor technologies. This includes supporting industry efforts to design and submit a NRC license application for a new fuel fabrication facility.

Made Progress on Building a Versatile Test Reactor 

Background: As the United States moves forward with a new generation of reactors, advanced fuels, material and instrumentation development will be essential to the next-generation of our nuclear industry. That’s why we are moving forward with our plans to build a Versatile Test Reactor, or VTR.

Supported the Deployment of Microreactors

Background: DOE is currently working with the Department of Defense to demonstrate and deploy microreactors as early as 2023. These smaller, transportable, factory-built systems can boost resiliency and reliability of energy at remote military locations.

Investigated Molten Salts

Background: DOE recently launched the Molten Salts in Extreme Environments (MSEE) center. MSEE will study the physical properties of molten salts and how they affect the materials in which they come in contact. This will speed up the development of molten salts for use in some advanced reactor designs, in addition to other potential nuclear fuel recycling and thermal transport, collection, and storage technologies.

 

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF HUMAN CAPITAL OFFICER (HC)

Completed SES Recruitment Priority Assessment

Background: HC completed the second phase of a Department-wide assessment of career and limited term Senior Executive Service (SES) allocations designating these SES positions into Recruitment Priority categories based on pre-established criteria. The Recruitment Priority assessment provides a measured executive allocation management process within the Department.

Conducted Rigorous Review of SES Performance Management

Background: For the first time, DOE conducted a 100 percent review of SES performance plans to provide appropriately rigorous expectations with measurable results and quality indicators, resulting in a significant shift in SES performance ratings to a more balanced ratings distribution; ratings inflation decreased from 52 percent to 30 percent for the highest rating level.  

Strengthened Strategic Human Capital Planning

Background: HC led the Department’s efforts to update the strategically managed hiring process, including the development of a strategy and process to establish operational staffing plans for each Program Office. Hiring actions across the Department are strategically directed and managed, and reinforce objectives to make the Federal Government lean, accountable, and efficient.  

Improved Employee Engagement

Background: DOE strengthened employee engagement by improving access to engagement data, providing opportunities for employees to collaborate and give input on their work environment, and providing targeted support to low-performing organizations. Employee-led crowd-sourcing efforts led to significant upgrades to the DOE working environment, to include a new bus to Germantown, lounge/meeting areas, and 24-hour workout facilities.   

Implemented HR Service Delivery Initiatives

Background: DOE implemented several initiatives to improve HR service delivery by more strategically allocating resources towards areas of inefficiency including:   

  • Increased the availability of functional specialists for technical assignments, and acquired contract support for workload surges
  • Expanded the use of direct hiring authorities
  • Established a Department-wide collaborative group responsible for making recommendations with regard to service delivery to HC and providing customer input to the Human Capital Operating Plan 
  • Enhanced the automated time-to-hire tracking system and metrics reports
  • Migrated the CHRIS training system functionality to DOE’s new learning management system, and consolidated training activities into one system 

 

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER (OCIO)

Established a CIO Business Operation Support Services Contract

Background: The Department of Energy established a first of a kind enterprise-wide contract providing IT, cyber and telecommunications services. The CIO Business Operation Support Services (CBOSS) contract, is a readily available vehicle with the breadth of IT services across the enterprise including National Labs, that can enable modernization of not only our aging technology, but also to improve process and operations across the DOE enterprise, especially in the critical area of cybersecurity.

Published an Updated Cybersecurity Program Policy

Background: The Cybersecurity Program Policy supports achievement of DOE’s diverse and vital missions through a federated approach to risk management. Its approach enables informed decision making at the lowest appropriate level, while providing sufficient enterprise visibility, ensuring leadership can set appropriate risk tolerances and meet Federal oversight requirements. 

Implemented New Opportunity Management System

Background: OCIO implemented new DOE capabilities to maximize investments in artificial intelligence, financial opportunity announcements and organizational efficiencies: Opportunity Management, INVESTOR, Employee Onboarding application.

Established Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service

Background: OCIO also established Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service virtual data center capabilities in both Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure with Secure Cloud Connections between the cloud service providers and the DOEnet Wide Area Network. It also completed migration of initial workloads including Powerpedia into AWS.

Updated Essential Network Infrastructure

Background: OCIO completed a number of important network initiatives including technology refresh upgrades of 207 Routers, 1209 Network switches, 494 VoIP Gateways, 141 Firewalls, and the fiber cable plant within the HQ buildings; the establishment of a physically diverse telecommunications path into the HQ Germantown campus supporting present and future requirements; the establishment of carrier-diverse Internet services at the NNSA Albuquerque Complex; an upgraded Internet capacity (10Gbps primary & diverse) at Headquarters; and the transition of 6 DOEnet sites to the new enterprise transport using the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet).

 

OFFICE OF INDIAN ENERGY (OIE)

Hosted the National Tribal Energy Summit

Background: OIE, in partnership with the National Conference of State Legislatures, hosted the biennial 2019 National Tribal Energy Summit in Washington, D.C. In his keynote, Undersecretary Mark Menezes discussed how the Trump Administration’s all-of-the-above energy policy has produced energy abundance and security for Native American and Alaska Native tribes across the nation, offering energy choices while respecting tribal sovereignty. 

Extended Funding Opportunity Announcements

Background: In FY2019, the Office exceeded its FY2020 performance goals by making 27 awards that represent over 19 MW in new generation in Indian Country, a savings of over $9 million annually for these communities, and nearly $260 million over the life of the projects.  

 

OFFICE OF SMALL AND DISADVANTAGED BUSINESS UTILIZATION (OSDBU)

Improved Small Business Contracting Performance  

Background: DOE utilized small business to achieve its missions more than ever before.  In FY19, DOE spent close to $5 billion in prime small business contracting, up from $4 billion in FY18. 

Achieved an “A” in Small Business Achievement

Background: DOE received a fourth consecutive “A” grade – and anticipates earning a fifth for FY19 – from the U.S. Small Business Administration. 

Accelerated OSDBU Outreach

Background: OSDBU hosted more small business outreach events in 2019 than in any other year, including the 18th Annual DOE Small Business Forum & Expo and DOE Summer ’19 New Mexico Small Business Expo.  Over 2000 people attended these events that helped make it easier for small businesses to work with the DOE and to advance the Agency’s missions.

 

OFFICE OF TECHNOLOGY TRANSITIONS (OTT)

Hosted Three InnovationXLabs

Background: OTT forged new connections with the private sector in 2019 by hosting its second, third and fourth InnovationXLab Summits. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory hosted the Grid Modernization Summit in January, while Oak Ridge National Laboratory welcomed attendees to their Advanced Manufacturing Summit in May. Argonne National Laboratory convened leaders in Artificial Intelligence at their AI Summit in October. 

Won 41 R&D 100 Awards

Background: DOE researchers won 41 R&D 100 awards for exceptional new products and processes that were developed and introduced into the marketplace last year. Since the competition began, DOE’s National Labs have won more than 900 R&D’s.

Announced PACT Lab Call Projects

Background: In October, OTT announced the selection of 12 projects as part of its Practices to Accelerate the Commercialization of Technologies (PACT) Laboratory Call. The PACT Lab Call promotes the transition of DOE-derived research toward the marketplace, and specifically encourages Labs to develop new ways to increase technology commercialization.

Expanded Capabilities of the Lab Partnering Service (LPS)

Background: OTT’s LPS further expanded its capabilities as the premiere tool to connect with our National Laboratories. The introduction of a facilities search enabled innovators to quickly access labs’ best-in-class equipment and expertise, while the creation of web portals for Artificial Intelligence and space created tailored experiences for these fast-growing segments of our economy.

Issued Selections for Fifth Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF)

Background: OTT issued the fifth selections for TCF, a Department-wide initiative to guide promising technologies out of DOE labs and facilities toward the market by pairing projects with a private-sector partner organization. This year’s selections comprised 77 projects across 12 labs for a total of $24 million in federal funding. 

Completed Tenth Energy I-Corps Cohort

Background: November 2019 marked the completion of the landmark tenth cohort in the pioneering Energy I-Corps entrepreneurship program. Ten teams from six different National Labs came together to enhance the tech-to-market pathways for their innovative technologies in battery storage, carbon capture, nuclear power, and more. Initiated in 2015, the Energy I-Corps program is managed by OTT in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

 

SCIENCE (SC)

Won Nobel Prize

Background: The 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham, and Akira Yoshino “for the development of lithium-ion batteries.”  Both Goodenough and Whittingham are longtime DOE Office of Science-supported researchers who have helped the Office of Science and the Department chart an effective path forward in transformative research on energy storage.

Led in Supercomputing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Quantum Computing

Background: America continues to lead the world in high performance computing, thanks to DOE efforts and investments. Summit at Oak Ridge National Lab remained atop the TOP500 list of the world’s most powerful computers and provided a platform for the two finalist teams for the Gordon Bell Prize for best supercomputing application of 2019. Oak Ridge also teamed with Google on a proof-of-concept project in quantum computing that demonstrated “quantum supremacy” in a task known as random circuit sampling.

Achieved First Light for Dark Energy Experiment

Background: The Office of Science-supported Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) achieved first light on October. Led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, DESI will study the spectra of distant galaxies, and build a three-dimensional map of the cosmos to uncover the nature of dark energy. 

Played Major Role in Largest Arctic Research Expedition in History

Background: The Office of Science Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facility is contributing more than 50 instruments to MOSAiC (the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) the largest research expedition to the central Arctic in history.  

Achieved Routine Production for Promising Cancer Treatment Isotope 

Background: In 2019, DOE’s Isotope Program achieved routine production of the Actinium-225 isotope, thought be one of the most potentially effective treatments for metastasized cancers because of its capacity to target malignant cells while leaving healthy tissue unharmed. 

Leveraged Private Sector Efforts in Fusion Energy Research Through INFUSE

Background: DOE launched the Innovation Network for Fusion Energy (INFUSE) program to accelerate progress in fusion energy by establishing research partnerships with the private sector.  These private-public research partnerships enable applicants to access and leverage the world-class expertise and capabilities in fusion science available at the DOE national laboratories.