Biden administration kicks off $5 billion electric Clean School Bus program – US Vice President Kamala Harris and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan are today launching the Clean School Bus program, a part of President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, from a high school in Falls Church, Virginia. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021 authorizes the EPA to offer rebates to replace diesel school buses with what the EPA calls “clean and zero-emission (ZE) models.” Electric buses will be prioritized over alternative fuels. The first round of the Clean School Bus Program funding will be awarded as lottery rebates. The lottery will prioritize applications from Prioritized School Districts – low-income, rural, tribal, and/or high-needs school districts. School districts can apply now to receive the rebate, which will be sent to the manufacturer or dealer before the school district pays. Applications can request funds for up to 25 new electric school buses
Industry heavyweights unite in U.S. battery push – Auto giants are joining with battery companies, EV startups and lithium producers in a new coalition seeking stronger federal support for building a large U.S. battery supply chain. The Coalition for American Battery Independence (CABI) launches soon. Battery demand is slated to surge in coming years and decades. There’s intense global competition to build supply chains (and expand and diversify mining, a challenge that’s not a current CABI focus). It’s “critically imperative for our energy and climate security to re-shore these battery materials and manufacturing capacity,” CABI said. The Biden administration is trying to boost the supply chain with steps like Energy Department grants and loan guarantees but Mike Carr of Boundary Stone — which represents several CABI members — said more holistic policies are needed.
Corporate clean energy procurement on track for another record year after adding 11 GW in 2021 – Corporate procurement led to the installation of a record 11.06 GW of clean energy in 2021, and is already on pace to exceed this record in 2022, with 6.45 GW announced as of late April, according to a State of the Market report released by the Clean Energy Buyers Association on Tuesday. Since 2014, corporate procurement has represented 37% of the carbon-free energy added to the U.S. grid, according to CEBA. Despite challenges created by long interconnection queues, supply chain constraints and, most recently, the U.S. Department of Commerce investigation into solar imports from Southeast Asia, CEBA CEO Miranda Ballentine said corporate demand for renewable energy continues to grow.