US provides $24.5m for manufacturing innovations to build clean and resilient grid

It will support two funding opportunities that will back research and development for the materials and technologies needed to expand the grid with new, clean energy sources and deliver affordable electricity to disadvantaged communities

The Big Zero report

Up to $24.5 million (£17.5m) of funding has been announced for innovations in domestic manufacturing to build a clean, resilient and modern electricity grid and address the climate emergency.

It will support two funding opportunities that will back research and development (R&D) for the materials and technologies needed to expand the grid with new, clean energy sources and deliver affordable electricity to disadvantaged communities.

That includes up to $20 million (£14m) for R&D projects focusing on flow battery systems, which are electrochemical batteries that use externally stored electrolytes, making them cost less, are safer and more flexible and adaptable.

While lithium-ion batteries are commonly used in electric vehicles (EVs) and portable devices for various applications, flow batteries are particularly well-suited for grid storage needs.

Up to $4.5 million (£3.2m) will be awarded in cash and vouchers to competitors who identify and verify new materials and methods to achieve significant enhancements in conductivity.

Conductivity-enhanced materials can help address the climate emergency by easing the addition of renewable energy resources and EVs to the grid, maximising next generation energy storage technologies and supporting efficiency in electricity-intensive sectors like transportation and manufacturing.

The projects support the Biden Administration’s goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm said: “By investing in American-made, clean energy technologies, the Department of Energy is harnessing our country’s innovative spirit to build and equitable and sustainable energy system.

“These funding opportunities will help manufacture the next generation energy storage systems and power lines that support President Biden’s climate goals, create and sustain US jobs and build a strong, secure and efficient electric grid.”

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