As the holiday season begins, we at the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) are counting our blessings. We are grateful for the privilege of serving the American people by investing in technologies that can help us build an equitable, clean power system. We are also grateful for the historic legislation that will help us achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
To help get you into the spirit, we are sharing some highlights of our progress. Here is where advancements toward the clean energy transition are happening:
We wouldn’t get far without the people who are researching and developing clean energy technologies. EERE confidently invests in their innovations and recently hit a $1 billion milestone. We are equally thankful for the entrepreneurial innovators who have participated in the more than 30 American-Made Challenges. Competitors have won over $100 million in prizes since 2018.
In the Sky
Guilt-free air travel is on the radar with the government-wide strategy to scale up production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) made from biological and waste resources. The first commercial flight powered entirely by SAF took off last year. Now the government has a flight plan to cut costs and produce 35 billion gallons of domestic SAF—100% of projected jet fuel use—annually by 2050.
On the Road
Thanks to the SuperTruck program, trucks that transport holiday feasts have doubled their fuel efficiency in the past decade, while EERE continues to provide funding for the electrification of freight trucking (and all other methods of transport).
Heat pumps can provide high-efficiency heating and cooling and save households money on utility bills. This summer—a year ahead of schedule—a U.S. manufacturer developed an electric air-source heat pump prototype as part of the Residential Cold Climate Heat Pump Technology Challenge.
We can harness the heat beneath our feet to supply clean electricity as well as heating and cooling, but geothermal energy production can also support domestic supply chains for batteries and electric vehicles. How? We’re learning how to extract lithium from fluid within the earth’s crust.
Cleaning up industry means increasing energy and water efficiency in manufacturing plants while reducing emissions. Through the Better Plants Program, 270 industrial partners have saved $10.6 billion in energy costs, 2.2 quadrillion British thermal units of energy, and more than 130 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.
Moving innovations from the lab to the market and supporting the clean energy workforce are key to decarbonization. The Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program has provided funding and entrepreneurial training to 120 startups that, together, have raised $918 million in follow-on funding and created nearly 1,000 jobs.
Beneath Our Wings
Wind is the largest source of renewable power in the nation. Wind turbines operate in all 50 states, and in 2021, investments in new wind projects in the United States added up to $20 billion.
We have two offshore wind farms and dozens more under development. We’re also getting closer to harnessing marine energy from the natural flow of oceans and rivers. Marine energy could complement other renewable energy resources and provide power for remote, coastal, and island areas. Companies are piloting marine energy technologies, and a test facility is being built.
We’re bringing renewable power to more Americans. By 2025, the National Community Solar Partnership aims to power the equivalent of 5 million households through community solar projects. We can also incorporate distributed wind power in microgrids and hybrid systems. And energy storage builds resilience for communities and minimizes grid disruptions.
Finally, EERE is thankful for you, our Clean Energy Champions, who are with us on the front lines, spreading the word about the benefits of renewable power. We could not complete the energy transition without your support.