Decarbonization projects are getting $6 billion in federal funding as the Biden Administration offers grants to pollution-heavy industries.

On Wednesday, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced the creation of the Industrial Demonstrations Program, a grant program intended to cover 50% of the cost of any project aiming to cut emissions from industries that include productions of metals, chemicals, ceramics, and paper.

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the program will help cut pollution while ensuring the competitiveness of American manufacturing.

“It’s not super-defined,” Granholm said at the CERAWeek conference in Houston about the program which aims to fund projects at existing and new facilities alike.

The funding comes out of the infrastructure budget package President Biden signed in 2021, and the impetus comes from his pledge for the U.S. economy to reach total decarbonization by 2050.

“This new funding is an unmissable opportunity to modernize American primary steel manufacturing, reduce climate and health harming pollution and create jobs,” said Hilary Lewis, steel director at Industrious Labs, a nonprofit working on the energy transition. “Without investment today, the industry risks falling behind in the race to green steel.”

Social and environmental groups have expressed open praise of the program, and urge the DOE to commit at least 40% of the resources to facilities near underserved communities, places which historically have suffered the worst from the impacts of heavy industry.

Companies wishing to take advantage of the grants are to submit concept papers about what they would do with the money by April 21st, and full applications are due on August 4th.

The decarbonization technologies should be something “we can learn from and then have that technology be replicated and taken to scale,” Granholm said. In that way, it’s hoped that these grants will have an impact far beyond their cost, hopefully producing a green revolution in some of our most polluting industries.

Photo: Shutterstock