$450 Million for Renewable Energy Projects in the US

by | 5. Apr 2023 - 11:24 | Politics

Former mines could become centers for sustainable energy and the required raw materials.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced Tuesday that it will provide up to 450 million U.S. dollars for clean energy demonstration projects in existing and former mining areas. The move would deliver new economic opportunities to communities hit hardest by the evolving energy landscape, according to U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm. Former coal regions such as West Virginia and Kentucky have struggled with declining fossil fuel production. In the Appalachian region, the industry lost over 37,000 jobs between 2011 and 2021, according to the Appalachian Regional Commission (PDF).
The department is also allocating $16 million in studies by the University of North Dakota and West Virginia University to explore the extraction of rare earths and other critical raw materials from secondary sources such as coal ash or mine wastewater. The goal is to build the first critical minerals production facility in America, the agency said.

Funding for the two projects comes from the bipartisan Infrastructure Law, a bill that, along with the Inflation Reduction Act, is intended to move the U.S. toward a climate-neutral future.

Photo: iStock/panophotograph

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