$675 Million Federal Program Seeks to Increase Domestic Supply Chain

The Biden/Harris administration, through U.S. Department of Energy, has issued a Request for Information about the development and execution of a Critical Materials Research, Development, Demonstration and Commercialization Program. Funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the program will address vulnerabilities in the domestic critical materials supply chain, which are both an economic disadvantage and an impediment to the clean energy transition.

The manufacturing of many clean energy technologies requires critical materials such as rare-earth metals, nickel, cobalt and lithium. This program will improve domestic sourcing and production.

“We can follow through on President Biden’s clean energy commitments and make our nation more secure by increasing our ability to source, process, and manufacture critical materials right here at home,” states U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is supporting DOE’s effort to invest in the building blocks of clean energy technologies, which will revitalize America’s manufacturing leadership and bring along the benefits of good paying jobs.”

Over the next few decades, the global demand for critical materials will increase by 400-600%. Some materials, such lithium and graphite, which are used in electric vehicle battery batteries, will see a rise of up to 4,000%. DOE’s comprehensive strategy calls for increased domestic raw-materials production and manufacturing capacity, which would reduce dependence on foreign sources of critical materials, secure America’s clean energy supply chain and introduce more jobs associated with the clean energy transition.

Established through the Energy Act of 2020 and expanded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, DOE’s Critical Materials Program will develop materials, components and technologies; promote efficient production and use, and circular economy approaches; and ensure a long-term, diverse, secure and sustainable supply of critical materials. The Critical Materials Research Program will expand on DOE’s decade-long history of investment in critical materials supply chains, which includes fundamental research on materials science, separation science, and geoscience; public-private partnerships, such as the Critical Materials Institute; and efforts to validate and commercialize new technologies through demonstration projects.

RFI for Critical Materials Research Program seeks input from industry, academia and research laboratories, government agencies and state and local coalitions. All comments must be received by 5:00 PM ET on September 9, 2022. ET on September 9, 2022 and can be submitted to CriticalMaterialsProgramRFI@ee.doe.gov.

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