Exploring The Energy Future

As industries seek to diversify energy sources, government initiatives remain central to these efforts.

By Anne Cosgrove
From the March/April 2024 Issue


In January, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $171 million for 49 projects across 21 states to reduce industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and accelerate the development of decarbonization technologies. At the time, DOE also announced that applications are open for an $83 million funding opportunity to decrease emissions from hard-to-decarbonize industrial sectors, which represent roughly 30 percent of total U.S. carbon emissions.

Managed by DOE’s Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office, the 49 selectees will support applied research, development, and pilot-scale technology validation, and demonstration (RD&D) projects aimed at reducing energy usage and GHG emissions from industrial subsectors. The projects will be led by private industry, academic institutions, non-profits, and DOE National Laboratories, with the following eight areas in focus:

  • Decarbonizing Industrial Heat

    Exploring The Energy Future
    (Photo: Adobe Stock/KossMosss)
  • Low-Carbon Fuels Utilization R&D
  • Exploratory Cross-Sector R&D
  • Decarbonizing Chemicals
  • Decarbonizing Iron and Steel
  • Decarbonizing Food/Beverage Manufacturing
  • Decarbonizing Cement and Concrete 
  • Decarbonizing Forest Products

The Energy Landscape

Southeastern Washington is a prime location for energy technologies and developments largely due to the region’s long history with nuclear industries, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and proximity to plentiful hydroelectric power generation.

Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is the primary source of power generation and transmission that services the area. Power generated there also serves California markets. To meet current demand and address capacity constraints, BPA has a transmission project planned for completion in Q4 2027 that will increase transmission to the area. This coincides with a major project for Richland, WA. Atlas Agro is planning a green fertilizer production plant scheduled to come online within a similar timeframe and will require 250-300MwH of power. With the infrastructure needed to support this project, the buildout of a new substation will allow for an additional 50MwH of power to serve the community.

In southeastern New Mexico, Lea County has capitalized on its location and innovation for energy development—currently the No. 1 oil-producing county in the U.S. Since 1928, oil and gas pioneers there have put innovative and entrepreneurial efforts to work to develop a world-class energy hub.  Today, Lea County continues to provide new opportunities to access energy resources. With an all-inclusive approach to energy-related projects, coupled with an open-for-business attitude, Lea County has recruited a variety of technology-driven industries and jobs to the area.

Lea County’s EnergyPlex® Park is a 9,600-acre mega site industrial park located just outside of Hobbs, NM. This industrial park is suitable for a broad range of industry sectors, including manufacturing, warehousing, transportation, logistics, petroleum, fabrication, bio-fuels, solar, wind, and nuclear.

In Canada, there is a national-level commitment to reducing carbon emissions by 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2030, and achieving net-zero by 2050. To meet 2030 and 2050 net-zero goals, the economy will need to be powered by “two equally important energy sources—clean power and clean fuels,” according to the federal Natural Resources Canada. Electrification provides a near-term pathway for emissions reductions in many sectors including personal transport and the built environment. And, clean fuels (low-carbon fuels that typically consist of clean hydrogen, advanced biofuels, liquid synthetic fuels, and renewable natural gas) are expected to play a critical role in “hard-to-decarbonize” sectors such as industry and medium- and heavy-duty freight.

Even in a scenario with ambitious electrification, it is estimated that 60% or more of national energy demand in 2050 could need to be met with clean fuels to meet a net-zero goal. Today, clean fuels make up less than 5% of total energy supply in Canada.

Exploring The Energy Future
(Photo: Adobe Stock/Elnur)


Quebec is an example of the action occurring towards these goals in Canada. The electrification of transport is an undeniable trend and is set to grow exponentially in the years ahead. The global automotive industry in the province is working to set up efficient value chains for electric vehicle batteries.

DOE Announces $6B For 33 Projects To Explore Cutting Industrial Emissions

Part of the Industrial Demonstrations Program, managed by DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED), funding will drive toward technologies to decarbonize energy-intensive industries in the U.S. Read more…

Quebec has significant reserves of the strategic minerals used in lithium-ion batteries, as well as clean energy, a large pool of talent and direct access to the enormous North American market. Québec has therefore put in place a strategy to become a global supplier of batteries and battery components. It focuses on developing a complete value chain, from mining to recycling.

In western Canada, the Edmonton region is a leading region in clean energy technologies due to a strong innovation ecosystem, a history of industry collaboration and investment, and highly skilled talent.

The region is Canada’s energy powerhouse and boasts some of the best renewable resources in the country— wind, solar, bioenergy, hydrogen, and geothermal.

Alberta is home to more than 900 cleantech companies that serve a wide variety of industries, including traditional energy, power and utilities, manufacturing, agriculture, hydrogen, digitalization, carbon capture, utilization, and storage.

Profiling Locations

Energy availability and reliability is an important factor for nearly any corporate relocation or expansion decision. When clean energy and other sustainability aspects come into play, evaluating the energy profile of potential locations becomes ever more crucial.

Check out all the latest economic development, corporate relocation, corporate expansion and site selection news related to clean energy and renewable energy.


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