The U.S. Department of Energy on Monday took a step to advance use of a Cold War-era defense law for boosting the reliability of the electric power grid, deploying clean energy, and speeding domestic production of grid technologies such as transformers.
The department issued a request for information, asking the public to determine how best to use the Defense Production Act, or DPA, to boost manufacturing and lower energy costs for consumers.
The DPA "provides us with a vital tool to make targeted investments in key technology areas that are essential to ensuring power grid reliability and achieving our clean energy future," U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a release.
In June, President Joe Biden, a Democrat, invoked the DPA to expand manufacturing of solar panels, heat pumps, transformers, and equipment for "clean electricity-generated fuels" such as electrolyzers and fuel cells. The 1950 law gives the Pentagon wide powers to procure equipment necessary for national defense.
The DOE wants to get input by Nov. 30 from industry, labor, environmental, energy justice, and state, local and tribal stakeholders on using the DPA authority to support the clean energy workforce and technologies needed to combat climate change.