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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today awarded $19 million for 13 projects in traditionally fossil fuel-producing communities across the country to support production of rare earth elements and critical minerals vital to the manufacturing of batteries, magnets, and other components important to the clean energy economy. Facing persistent shortages in domestic supply, the U.S. has been forced to rely on imported materials, leaving clean energy technology production at greater risk of disruption. Projects will be managed by DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). “The very same fossil fuel communities that have powered our nation for decades can be at the forefront of the clean energy economy by producing the critical minerals needed to build electric vehicles, wind turbines, and so much more,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “By building clean energy products here at home, we’re securing the supply chain for the innovative solutions needed to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 – all while creating good-paying jobs in all parts of America.”
Battieries
NETL-supported research and leadership in the field of energy storage will be explored at an upcoming webinar hosted by the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University. Panelists for “Batteries and the Future of Energy Storage,” which will be held at 11 a.m. ET on Thursday, May 6, include NETL’s Briggs White, technology manager, who manages the Advanced Energy Storage research program on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy. Click here for information or to register for the webinar.
crosscutting
Scientists and engineers will make more than 60 presentations during the first half of May to highlight program areas critical to the development of an environmentally sustainable and prosperous U.S. energy future as part of NETL’s annual Crosscutting Research and Advanced Energy Systems Project Review Meeting. The annual project review showcases a broad spectrum of NETL-supported projects advancing research toward a carbon emission-free electricity sector by 2035 and economy-wide net-zero emissions by 2050 while ensuring affordable, reliable energy supplies for U.S. economic growth in all regions. Although the series of presentations will continue through mid-June, the May 4-13 period is an especially busy time for the project review meeting because it features an impressive 62 sessions, all held virtually, to discuss NETL-supported projects in Gasification Systems, Crosscutting Research Water Management, Transformative Power Generation, and Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
Blocks
A University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) technology developed in partnership with NETL won the grand prize in the prestigious NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE global competition for the development of an eco-friendly process that infuses a revolutionary concrete with carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions directly captured from power plants and other industrial facilities.  UCLA’s CarbonBuilt team was awarded the grand prize on April 19 and will receive $7.5 million in the competition’s track for technologies related to coal-fired power generation. UCLA’s entry was one of 47 submissions from 38 teams in seven countries. UCLA was named one of the 10 finalists in October 2017.
RWFI
The NETL Regional Workforce Initiative invites you to attend the upcoming NETL RWFI Energy 101 Webinar- Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) scheduled for Thursday, April 29, 2021 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT. NETL is one of the world leaders in CCUS research. This critical technology is not only a key component in mitigation of climate change, but also a potential driver of energy jobs for the nation if successfully deployed. In this webinar, NETL’s research focus on CCUS will be discussed, along with the potential for economic and workforce development opportunities that successful research, development and commercialization may bring. Subject matter experts from NETL will present background on NETL’s research goals and aims in both the Carbon Capture and Carbon Storage portfolios. The webinar will also delve into the potential economic and jobs and workforce impacts that commercialization and deployment of CCUS technology may bring in a roundtable following presentations from NETL technology managers.
Cover
NETL presents the latest edition of its publication that showcases research on emerging energy technologies. NETL Edge shares the latest developments the Lab’s mission to drive innovation and deliver solutions for an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future. In this issue, we feature key research and technology development in integrated energy systems for net-zero carbon electricity. Check out the newly released edition of NETL Edge to learn more about combining technology and versatility to optimize energy production and lower emissions, finding answers to carbon storage in by using advanced technologies to examine rock cores, building a strong foundation for integrated energy systems through energy conversion research and more. https://go.usa.gov/xHnJD
SRI
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and NETL continue to support the engineering scale development of SRI International’s mixed-salt process (MSP), representing one of the department’s many commitments to carbon capture technology innovation. The success of NETL’s Carbon Capture Program will enable cost-effective implementation of technologies that can be applied to the existing fleet of fossil fuel-fired plants, new plants, industrial facilities and the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere.
Regional Commission
A technical education program developed in partnership with NETL will hit the road in central Appalachia to deliver customized training and prepare workers for careers that require advanced welding and manufacturing skills.  The Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, will use $336,796 in federal funds to work with institutions such as Mountwest Community and Technical College to offer hands-on training in classrooms and a mobile training laboratory. The mobile lab is a distinctive feature of the RCBI initiative because it is designed to deliver on-the-job, fast-track certifications and customized training at companies located in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. “Travel can be difficult in our rugged terrain,” said Mike Friel, the institute’s director of communications. In addition to steep hills and winding roads that can be treacherous in severe weather, many parts of the region are isolated, making travel to a class time-consuming, which cuts into a firm’s productivity. To address these concerns, RCBI’s mobile program will take training directly to the workers.
crosscutting
Beginning today and continuing through mid-June, NETL partners in academia and industry will present virtual updates on research activities across NETL’s project portfolio in its 2021 Crosscutting Research and Advanced Energy Systems Project Review Meeting.  Presentations will highlight NETL-supported projects in all areas of technology development that are advancing key initiatives toward a carbon emission-free electricity sector by 2035 and economy-wide net-zero emissions by 2050 while ensuring affordable, reliable energy supplies for U.S. economic growth in all regions. Throughout the spring, engineers and scientists will meet for 10 sessions, all held virtually, to present their findings from projects undertaken within the Lab’s Crosscutting Research, Rare Earth Elements and Critical Minerals, Gasification Systems, Transformative Power Generation, Advanced Coal Processing programs and others.   
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Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) announced $75 million in Federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects under Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0002515, Carbon Capture R&D for Natural Gas and Industrial Sources and Front-End Engineering Design Studies for Carbon Capture Systems at Industrial Facilities and Natural Gas Plants. “Research, development, demonstration and deployment of decarbonization technologies in the industrial sector will drive the energy transition needed to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, while engaging communities and local populations and empowering them in the decision-making process,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, Dr. Jennifer Wilcox. “And projects under this FOA will help move us closer to that goal.”