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US Energy Dept. announces US$9 million in funding for clean energy

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced funding for 24 American Indian and Alaska Native communities to deploy clean energy and energy efficiency projects. The DOE plans to invest over US$9 million in 16 facility and community scale energy projects in 24 communities.

As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to partner with Tribal Nations, these projects provide Indian Tribes and Alaska Native villages with clean energy solutions that will save communities money and reduce carbon pollution. DOE’s funding will be leveraged by nearly US$16 million in cost sharing under the selected tribal energy projects, meaning the projects represent a potential total investment value exceeding US$25 million.

“The Energy Department is committed to maximising the development and deployment of energy solutions for the benefit of American Indians and Alaska Natives,” said Christopher Deschene, Director of DOE’s Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programmes. “By providing tribal communities and Alaska Native villages with knowledge, skills, and resources, we hope to help tribal communities harness their local indigenous renewable energy resources, reduce their energy costs, create jobs, and help implement successful strategic energy solutions.”

According to a report by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO, while Indian land represents less than 2% of the total US land base, it contains an estimated 5% of all US renewable energy resources.

Since 2002, DOE’s Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programmes and its predecessor programme have invested over US$50 million in nearly 200 tribal clean energy projects. IE continues to provide financial and technical assistance to Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages for the evaluation, development, and deployment of their renewable energy resources, implementation of energy efficiency technologies to reduce energy use, and education and training to help build the knowledge and skills essential for sustainable energy projects. “Within every challenge lie the seeds of opportunity, and I believe tribes are well positioned to cultivate those seeds through visionary leadership and strategic energy planning,” said Deschene.

Adapted from press release by Francesca Brindle

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