Decarbonization News

Landmark $6 billion investment in US industrial decarbonization — Investing in America Agenda

Landmark $6 billion investment in US industrial decarbonization — Investing in America Agenda

$6B US Federal investment announced: President Biden's Investing in America Agenda focuses on decarbonizing energy-intensive industries

This funding, part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, represents the single largest investment in industrial decarbonization in U.S. history. It targets a wide array of sectors, including aluminum and metals, cement and concrete, and iron and steel, aiming to reduce more than 14 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

Strategic decarbonization of high-emission industries

The selected projects focus on industries where decarbonization can have the most significant impact. With a commitment to reducing the equivalent annual emissions of 3 million gasoline-powered cars, these initiatives will introduce first-in-the-nation emissions-reducing technologies. This effort is not only about cutting emissions but also about ensuring American manufacturers and workers lead the global clean energy economy.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm emphasized the strategic importance of these investments, calling this “the single largest industrial decarbonization investment in American history.” In slashing emissions from sectors traditionally seen as difficult to decarbonize, like cement and concrete, the overarching goal is to maintain American businesses and workers' competitive edge in the global economy, while tackling emissions causing climate change.

While these projects will not put a substantial dent in global emissions, Granholm says they will “set a new gold standard for clean manufacturing in the United States and around the world,” and spur the heavy manufacturing industry at large to follow suit.

Highlighting key projects in concrete, steel, and glass industries

Among the projects selected by the Investing in America Agenda, several stand out for their potential impact on decarbonization:

  • Cement and concrete: projects in this sector aim to revolutionize CO2 emissions mitigation by introducing technologies that could transform cement production from a significant carbon emitter to potentially net-negative. This includes capturing and sequestering emissions from one of the largest cement plants in the U.S. and pioneering chemical changes to reduce emissions at their source.
  • Iron and steel: the investment will support some of the world's first clean hydrogen-fueled direct reduced iron making facilities, setting a precedent for reducing steelmaking emissions. This effort not only aims to lower the carbon footprint of steel production but also to enhance the quality of steel for industries such as automotive and construction manufacturing.
  • Glass: projects focused on glass production seek to validate electric/fuel hybrid furnaces capable of producing low-emission glass bottles, tableware, and food packaging. These initiatives represent a significant step towards decarbonizing high-temperature heat processes essential to glassmaking and other industrial applications.

The role of LCAs and EPDs 

As the best tools for measuring and reducing embodied carbon, life-cycle assessments (LCAs) and environmental product declarations (EPDs) will be crucial to this initiative’s success. LCAs and EPDs are essential for analyzing and minimizing the environmental impacts of products and processes throughout their entire life-cycles. 

This investment by the Biden Administration marks a significant step towards reducing the carbon footprint of the U.S. industrial sector, showcasing a robust strategy to combat climate change while bolstering the economy. By focusing on high-emission industries and leveraging cutting-edge technologies, the initiative promises to transform the landscape of American manufacturing and lead the charge towards a more sustainable and competitive future. 

To learn more about how you can specify low-embodied carbon materials in your building projects with a life-cycle assessment, book a demo with a One Click LCA expert today.


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