Energy Seeks to Maximize Defense Production Act Effectiveness

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The Department of Energy is interested in boosting domestic production of several emerging technologies.

The Energy Department on Monday published a request for information to determine how it could best leverage the Defense Production Act authorities enacted by President Joe Biden in June to accelerate the domestic manufacturing of clean energy.

Since the enactment, the White House and Energy Department have engaged with stakeholders to determine the best paths forward to strengthen U.S. power grid reliability and deploy clean energy. Through the RFI, the department intends to gather additional input from the public and industry.

“The Defense Production Act provides us with a vital tool to make targeted investments in key technology areas that are essential to ensuring power grid reliability and achieving our clean energy future,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said in a statement. “DOE is eager to continue hearing ideas from industry, labor, environmental, energy justice, and state, local and tribal stakeholders about how we can best use this powerful new authority to support the clean energy workforce and technologies needed to combat climate change.”

President Biden’s invocation of the Defense Production Act in June specifically targeted several emerging energy technologies, including: solar power, transformers and electric grid components, heat pumps, insulation and electrolyzers, fuel cells and specific platinum group metals. The decision was made in light of major global events, including the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s ongoing war with Ukraine, which disrupted global supply chains.

The RFI specifically seeks public input on how the Defense Production Act can address the following: technology supply chain challenges; domestic manufacturing, including small- and medium-scale; American workforce investment; and energy equity. The RFI also seeks input regarding several approaches the Energy Department might take.