On September 22–23, the DOE’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) will help drive the Business Forum at the first-ever Global Clean Energy Action Forum (GCEAF), a joint convening of the 13th Clean Energy Ministerial and the 7th Mission Innovation ministerial, in Pittsburgh.   
Through a series of panels, roundtables, and networking opportunities held in GCEAF Business Forum rooms, public and private sector leaders will explore what it will take to achieve commercial liftoff for 12 critical technology sectors, including:   

  1. Advanced Nuclear  

  1. Clean Hydrogen  

  1. Carbon Management  

  1. Geothermal  

  1. Grid of the Future  

  1. Electric Vehicles  

  1. Industrial Decarbonization  

  1. Long-Duration Energy Storage  

  1. Biofuels  

  1. Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings  

  1. Offshore Wind  

  1. Critical Minerals and Materials   

Robyn Beavers and Jigar Shah sitting on stage
GCEAF Business Forum Plenary Session, 9/22/22

2035 is right around the corner. How do we shrink the time between milestones to unlock the capital to meet our goals?

Jigar Shah
Director, Loan Programs Office

Accelerating the Commercialization of Technology

GCEAF puts the spotlight on the private sector’s relationship with the federal government at a critical time in the clean energy transition. To combat the climate crisis, the Biden Administration has set targets of carbon-pollution-free power sector by 2035 and net zero emissions economy by no later than 2050. The central challenge in meeting these and other climate goals is deployment not matching the pace of innovation—each critical clean energy sector will need to attract approximately $100 billion to achieve commercial liftoff globally within the next decade.  

At $100 billion of capital deployment, technologies have generally demonstrated a level of market adoption and bankability to access the low-cost capital from institutional investors that is required for these sectors to ultimately reach $1 trillion scale. And that is the scale that is needed to reach our nation’s net zero economy goal. Unlocking $100 billion scale for emerging clean energy technologies requires coordinated efforts to address systemic challenges they face - unfamiliarity with the technology; uncoordinated ecosystem players; lack of advanced market commitments; and structural barriers to adoption, including unit economics, supply chains, demand signals, and more.  

These Business Forums are aimed at generating feedback from the private sector and ensuring that federal investment and capital needs are aligned. Private sector innovation and entrepreneurship are at the heart of American industrial strategy, with government resources and tools creating the enabling environment for scale.  

Charting the Path to Commercial Scale 

Whether we’re building the strategy for nuclear, hydrogen, direct air capture, or other technologies, there is not a one-size-fits-all framework for successfully bringing them to market. America’s industrial strategy will be guided by innovation, and the onus is on both the private sector and government to collectively chart those unique pathways to commercial scale. 

To generate the ideas, partnerships, and momentum that enable the private sector to move at pace, GCEAF Business Forums will facilitate open dialogue between industry, investors, government, and the broader stakeholder ecosystem. These conversations will focus on issues including:  

  • barriers to commercial scale,  
  • what it will take for each of the 12 technology sectors to overcome those barriers and achieve $100 billion in capital formation,   
  • policy actions that are required to enable deployment at scale,  
  • questions institutional investors need answered (including the form the investments need to take) to unlock trillion-dollar scale investment, and  
  • the most critical places for government support and facilitation—now and in the future.  

LPO is committed to leading these important conversations at GCEAF and beyond, asking how we can make sure the policies and tools available to clean energy industry are aligned to drive a private sector-led, government-enabled approach to commercialization.  

Partnering with LPO 

With $97 billion in new appropriations provided between the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, Congress has given DOE a mandate to radically accelerate the commercialization and deployment of technologies critical to the energy transition.   

LPO partners with the private sector to accelerate this transition by serving as a bridge to bankability for breakthrough projects and technologies, de-risking them at early stages of commercialization so they can reach full market acceptance.   

LPO has already begun working over the past year to foster a private sector-led, government-enabled American approach to commercialization to shape LPO and DOE investment. It has included engaging with leaders in the sectors directly to identify current barriers to commercialization and capital formation, uncertainties facing institutional investment, and ideal areas for the government to facilitate.   

The GCEAF Business Forum is another way that LPO is putting this approach to work—and you can help! Check out the schedule and watch the livestream as industry, investors, government, and the broader stakeholder ecosystem discuss what it will take to slash the time to commercialization and deploy critical technologies at scale.  

Continuing the Conversation After GCEAF 

After GCEAF, LPO will share our takeaways from the 12 Business Forum rooms and integrate this information into continuing conversations with the private sector. The DOE is also working on Demonstration and Deployment Pathways reports for several critical technology sectors to create shared fact bases for industry and government to chart the course to commercialization. Subscribe and stay tuned for future LPO updates.  

Jigar Shah
Director of the Loan Programs Office
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