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US DOE offers $80m for innovative building technologies

USA: The US Department of Energy is offering up to $80m for projects that enhance energy demand flexibility across buildings, including advanced air conditioning systems and next generation refrigeration technologies.

The DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) overall goal is to use energy more productively and efficiently. These projects will help improve the energy efficiency of America’s building stock, which consists of over 119 million homes and 5.6 million commercial buildings—more than half of which were constructed before 1980.

“By advancing innovative technologies that enhance building design, materials, equipment, and operations, we are building a more resilient energy future,” said deputy secretary Mark W Menezes.

According to Daniel R Simmons, assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy, the Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) 2020 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) will help advance innovative buildings technologies to move toward a new generation of building energy technologies.

Topics in this FOA include thermal storage research; advanced HVAC providing demand flexibility; next generation refrigeration technologies; advanced appliance research in areas such as improved compressor design; next generation lighting; whole building electric load optimisation; advanced and more efficient building construction; improved building retrofit technologies; and workforce development.

“DOE seeks to advance both the efficiency and flexibility of buildings, while improving the comfort and productivity of American families and businesses,” said Alex Fitzsimmons, deputy assistant secretary for Energy Efficiency. “This suite of technologies will not only unlock deep energy savings in buildings, but also enable buildings to provide innovative services to the grid with which they’re connected, enhancing the resilience of America’s energy system.”

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