The Department of Energy plans to put $256 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act toward improving energy efficiency across major industrial sectors, with special emphasis on manufacturing and information technology.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that $156 million of the total will go toward projects involving combined heat and power, district energy, and waste energy recovery.
Chu believes these technologies can be readily deployed in both industrial and residential settings to improve efficiency, control costs, and limit greenhouse gas emissions. For instance, combined heat and power and district energy systems can achieve efficiencies of 80 percent or more, as compared to about 45 percent for conventional heat and power production, according to a press release.
Meanwhile, waste recovery systems cumulatively could save 17 gigawatts of energy annually nationwide.
About $50 million of the package will go toward information and communication technology improvements.
The final allotment of $50 million will support research into advanced industrial materials for fuel flexibility programs, combined heat and power technologies, energy intensive processes, as well as nanomaterials and nanomanufacturing, according to the release.
These funds are but a small part of the Department of Energy’s proposed $38.7 billion budget.