Recently, the DOE announced it would invest in 33 projects across more than 20 states to decarbonize energy-intensive industries. Additionally, it would reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions, support good-paying union jobs, revitalize industrial communities, and strengthen the nation’s manufacturing competitiveness. These projects represent an overall investment of more than $20 billion, broken down as follows. $430 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, $5.46 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act and more than $14 billion from the private sector.


Announcement and implementation of these projects is among the clearest signals from the Biden administration to date that decarbonization is not just a buzzword. Rather, going forward it will be integral to all aspects of business operations in the U.S.’ largest and most important industrial sectors. The process began when the DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) opened applications for funding to implement the Industrial Demonstrations Program (IDP). They planned to do so by accelerating decarbonization projects in energy and carbon intensive industries. According to the White House Fact Sheet, this was to be the largest investment in industrial decarbonization in American history. By the August 2023 deadline, over 400 applicants had requested over $60 billion in DOE funding to implement the program. As part of the IDP, the DOE issued a series of Pathways to Commercial Liftoff reports. These would provide public and private sector investors with a perspective as to how and when various decarbonization technologies could reach full-scale adoption. In September 2023, the DOE issued three Pathways reports regarding the energy intensive industries targeted for the decarbonization investments. The first of these Pathways reports focused on decarbonizing eight industrial sectors. These are chemicals; refining; iron and steel; food and beverage processing; pulp and paper; cement; aluminum; and glass. The other two undertook deeper dives into low carbon cement and decarbonizing the chemicals and refining sectors.

Selected Projects

The 33 projects selected for IDP award negotiations are in the highest emitting industries where decarbonization technologies will have the greatest impact. They are divided into eight industry groups: chemicals, cement, steel, metals, food and beverage, glass, process heat, and pulp and paper.

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