We’re just a little more than halfway through 2022, but at the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) it’s already been a full year.
From issuing nearly $272 million in funding opportunities and $47 million in awards; kicking off new programs and funding opportunities under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s landmark investment in carbon management technologies; executing on the largest release of oil in history from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to help combat price increases at the pump caused by Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine; and hosting the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) first-ever Carbon Negative Shot Summit, we’ve been busier than ever.
In case you need a refresher on all that’s been happening at FECM over the past seven months, we pulled together the highlights—enjoy!
FECM’s Strategic Vision: Our Role in Achieving Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions
FECM is playing a critical role in DOE’s department-wide effort to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. To shape our ongoing efforts to address these challenges, we released our Strategic Vision on April 5. This Strategic Vision will enable DOE to help advance the development and deployment of technologies, infrastructure and practices that decarbonize fossil energy and industrial production and put us on a path to net-zero emissions economywide by midcentury.
Download our Strategic Vision infographic to get five quick takeaways, or read our blog post for a brief summary of the three strategic directions that provide the framework to guide FECM’s carbon management research, development, and deployment efforts while keeping our climate obligations, high-wage jobs, and environmental justice at the core of our work.
The Carbon Negative Shot Summit: An Event to Advance the Emerging and Necessary Carbon Dioxide Removal Industry
On July 20, DOE hosted the first-ever Carbon Negative Shot Summit, part of the Energy Earthshots Initiative, in an all-hands-on-deck call to develop the emerging carbon dioxide removal (CDR) industry.
The Summit convened 39 total speakers and more than 1,700 attendees from 39 countries, bringing together leading innovators, advocates, stakeholders, and policymakers to discuss how to advance commercially viable, just, and sustainable CDR in the United States. Read our Summit recap blog post to get key quotes, watch the highlight reel, and find links to the full recording of the day’s sessions.
To learn more, read our blog post on DOE’s vision for advancing the CDR industry from demonstration to deployment, and explore our two new interactive resources to assist with advancing carbon management technologies and infrastructure.
New Assessment Finds that Advancing Carbon Capture and Storage Carries Low Supply Chain Risk
In March, DOE released America’s first comprehensive plan to secure a decarbonized, clean energy economy, which included a deep-dive supply chain assessment of the carbon capture and storage industry. The assessment concluded that carbon capture and storage poses a low supply chain risk due to the required infrastructure relying on large amounts of common and readily available raw materials. The report also concluded that widespread deployment would present opportunities for near-term job, supply chain, and carbon capture and conversion technology growth.
FECM Welcomes Brad Crabtree to the Team
This spring, Brad Crabtree was confirmed as FECM’s new Assistant Secretary. Brad brings nearly three decades of experience in energy and climate policy to the team, and in his role as Assistant Secretary will lead and direct FECM’s research and development programs to support the Biden Administration’s goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Read Brad Crabtree’s bio to learn more about his background in carbon management.
Centering Justice and Engagement in FECM’s Work
It is critical that FECM’s carbon management efforts also help communities impacted by the legacy of fossil fuel use and support a healthy economic transition that accelerates the growth of good-paying jobs.
To ensure FECM-funded projects foster justice and engagement and address societal considerations and impacts (SCI), we have created new resources providing guidance on how project applicants should pursue their SCI planning, how merit reviewers will evaluate those plans during project selection, and much more. Visit our new webpage, Justice & Engagement: Planning for Societal Considerations & Impacts in FECM Projects, to download these resources.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Unleashes Billions of Dollars in Upcoming Funding
Over the past several months, FECM spread the word about several exciting opportunities funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Stay tuned for the funding opportunity announcements to be released in the coming months:
- On February 14, DOE announced a Request for Information (RFI) on the design, construction and operation of a first-of-a-kind $140 million facility to demonstrate the commercial feasibility of a full-scale rare earth element and critical minerals (CMs) extraction and separation refinery using unconventional resources.
- On May 5, DOE announced a $2.25 billion Notice of Intent (NOI) to accelerate geologic storage projects.
- On May 19, DOE released an NOI to fund the $3.5 billion Regional Direct Air Capture Hubs program to capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution directly from the air.
- On July 13, DOE announced NOIs for $2.6 billion to fund two decarbonization programs focused on power generation and heavy industries and create regional transport networks for captured CO2 emissions.
- On August 9, DOE announced an RFI on the development and implementation of a $675 million Critical Materials Research, Development, Demonstration, and Commercialization Program to expand domestic CM supply chains and strengthen U.S. clean energy technology manufacturing.
Providing Hundreds of Millions in Funding to Support President Biden’s Goal of Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions
So far in 2022, FECM has issued opportunities totaling nearly $272 million in available funding, and has awarded 17 project selections for a total investment of $47 million toward advancing energy storage, reuse of coal waste, direct air capture, natural gas infrastructure, and clean hydrogen.
Check out the following open funding opportunities:
- DOE announced two funding opportunities totaling $91 million to increase the number of available CO2 storage sites in order to advance critical carbon management technologies; the Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise – Phase II FOA remains open for applications.
- DOE announced two funding opportunities totaling $8 million for university training and research to advance natural gas research coupled to methane mitigation and build new humanities-driven science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curricula at eligible U.S. colleges and universities.
- DOE announced up to $6 million for projects that will repurpose domestic coal resources for products that can be employed in clean energy technologies, such as batteries and advanced manufacturing.
- DOE announced a $32 million funding opportunity to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas sector by improving methane monitoring, measurement, and mitigation technologies critical for a leak-tight U.S. natural gas supply chain.
Building Up Diverse Talent and the Clean Energy Workforce
FECM is passionate about building a clean energy and industrial workforce that looks like America. That’s why we’re proud to host initiatives like the Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship (MLEF) and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities-Other Minority Institutions (HBCU-OMI) program, which provide real-world research and development opportunities for traditionally underrepresented populations in STEM and strengthen diversity in this field.
Learn more about what MLEF’s 10-week summer research fellowship offers to students in our blog post recapping the 2022 cohort’s kickoff event, and see the impact of the HBCU-OMI program on students’ research and career aspirations in our infographic and series of student Q&As.
Investing in a Domestic Supply of Critical Minerals
CMs provide the building blocks for modern devices we use every day and are essential for clean energy technologies that will help us get to a net-zero economy by 2050. But while global demand for CMs is set to skyrocket by 400-600 percent over the next several decades, the United States has become increasingly dependent on foreign sources for many of the processed versions of these CMs.
FECM is collaborating across DOE and with the country’s National Laboratories to develop pathways that will increase our ability to produce CMs domestically. Get the quick facts on why we need to develop a domestic CM supply in our blog post and updated infographic, and learn more about how FECM’s Division of Minerals Sustainability is working to develop domestic CM supplies from unconventional and secondary sources in our new fact sheet.
Using the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to Address Significant Market and Supply Disruptions
Coming into 2022, the SPR was midway through executing on President Biden’s measures to bolster the fuel supply and lower prices for Americans. Exchanges or awards from the SPR through that effort were announced on January 12, 13, 18, 25, and March 7.
With the onset of Putin’s war on Ukraine and the resulting disruptions to fuel supply chains, the SPR continued its historically busy season. On March 1, President Biden dedicated 30 million barrels from the SPR as part of a coordinated action with 30 International Energy Agency member countries to address significant market and supply disruptions. On March 31, to help Americans facing rising prices at the pump, the president also committed to releasing one million barrels of crude oil per day from the SPR over six months; SPR Notices of Sale to fulfill that authorization were announced on April 1, May 24, June 14, and July 26.
Read Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm’s statement and the White House fact sheet on President Biden’s historic response to price hikes caused by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and learn about DOE’s long-term buyback plan to ensure the continued availability of the SPR.
Thank you for reading! We hope you enjoyed catching up on the highlights of our work so far this year. For more content like this, subscribe to our monthly FECM Newsletter and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.