The Department of Energy Is Supporting Small Businesses That Focus On Novel Clean Energy And Climate Solutions Through $54 Million In New Grants.
The Department of Energy is supporting small businesses that focus on novel clean energy and climate solutions with $54 million in new grants. These Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grants are a vital part of the United States’ goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. Grant recipients come from 42 states and include 29 women-owned businesses, 31 low-income, and socially disadvantaged businesses, and numerous businesses in HUBZones (historically underused areas). A total of 266 small businesses received funding, each working on prototypes for green energy solutions. These innovative business endeavors include projects on solar energy, hydrogen power, carbon capture, electric vehicle batteries, artificial intelligence, and carbon storage.
“Small businesses and entrepreneurs are the backbone of the American economy, the heart of our communities, and a well of ingenuity, driving America’s leadership in energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, and renewable power,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “With this round of federal funding, we’re going one step further to tap this homegrown resource to help bring the next generation of clean energy innovation to market while creating good-paying jobs across the private sector.”
This round of grantees includes Pathways United, a St. Louis, Missouri, company building a learning tool to improve underrepresented populations in the bioenergy workforce, and Community Energy Labs, a Portland, Oregon, company that is developing a clean building platform for small and mid-sized businesses. Albuquerque’s Voss Scientific also received funding for its laser amplifiers that solve thermal stress issues. In Maine, Portland’s Ocean Renewable Power Company received support for their ongoing subsea network research.
“Our small businesses are hubs of scientific and technological progress and innovation that bring us closer to finding new breakthroughs to combat climate change and protect our environment, while also creating jobs,” said U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen. “I’m thrilled that the Department of Energy will be investing federal dollars into American small businesses that are pursuing important clean energy research and development projects that have the potential to create a greener, more sustainable future for our planet.”
These grants clearly recognize the importance of small businesses in the country’s quest to reach climate goals. Additionally, the Department of Energy grants are designed to increase private-sector commercialization of projects created by federal funding. The grants also advance the new federal administration’s Justice40 Initiative, a commitment to deliver at least 40 percent of all clean energy technology investment to underserved communities, women, and minorities. An Inclusive Innovation Request for Information was released at the same time as the grants to help the department better understand the actions needed to make the funding more equitable and inclusive.
This new grant round is just one in a growing line of funding from the Department of Energy to support small businesses developing clean energy solutions and researching ways to combat climate change. Earlier in 2021, 102 small businesses received more than $100 million in funding for advancements in wind turbines and batteries and new technologies such as particle accelerators that could unlock new sustainable power options. Recently, the Department of Energy also funded businesses researching co-gasification and direct air capture methods.
“Small businesses play an important role in deploying clean energy solutions across America. This funding will empower small business owners…across the country to grow their businesses while helping to protect our environment for future generations,” said U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján.
For more information on upcoming grant rounds and programs, visit the Department of Education’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs website.