The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced it will sideline $3.1 billion in funding from the Biden Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) to support domestic battery manufacturing and make improvements to the U.S. supply chain.
Funding will be split into two separate categories: Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing and Electric Drive Vehicle Battery Recycling and Second Life Applications. The battery funding portion will take up the vast majority of the available funding and will support projects focused on upgrading and modernizing battery manufacturing infrastructure. The second portion, meanwhile, sidelines $60 million for companies and projects focused on the sustainable sourcing and processing of rare earth minerals and end-of-life battery collection and recycling. This will include exploring second-life applications for used EV batteries, like backup energy storage, for example.
In order to receive funding from this portion of the BIL, a project must “not only contribute to the energy technology and climate goals,” the White House said, but also support the BIL’s objectives to “invest in America’s workforce by including specific elements to accelerate job growth and job quality,” and advance the DOE’s “equity, environmental and energy justice priorities.” The Biden Admin has touted an America-first attitude with its efforts to invest in the country’s infrastructure, prioritizing companies and projects that vow to create good-paying, unionized jobs in the U.S.
In a statement, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said this fund will give the domestic supply chain “the jolt it needs to become more secure and less reliant on other nations— strengthening our clean energy economy, creating good-paying jobs, and decarbonizing the transportation sector.”
The DOE last year conducted a 100-day review of the large-capacity battery supply chain, which suggested the White House establish domestic production and processing capabilities for battery materials to support a fully domestic, end-to-end battery supply chain. The DOE also suggested the White House make investments in battery recycling and the circular economy to increase domestic supply and reduce the future need for new extraction and raw materials.