The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has revealed two new initiatives that promote tribal energy development and a better partnership between the DOE and tribal nations. U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu advised that up to US$10 million will become available this year for the DOE’s Tribal Energy Program, which will go towards the evaluation, development and deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects on tribal lands.
The energy projects will be constructed on the land of Indian Tribes, Tribal Energy Resource Development Organizations and Tribal Consortia; all which will be qualified to apply for the funding. Funds will go towards three project areas: first steps and capacity building, energy efficiency development and deployment and renewable energy development and deployment.
“Tribal Nations are well-positioned to take advantage of the benefits of clean energy. These efforts will help Tribal Nations determine the best projects for their lands and ultimately which technologies to adopt, both improving the environment and supporting long-term clean energy jobs,” said Secretary Chu.
For projects that focus on capacity building and strategic planning, including energy resource and infrastructure analyses, the development of an energy organization and training programs, up to US$1.5 million in support will be available. US$4 million will go towards the energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment initiatives, which will study the technical and economic feasibility of future energy efficiency improvements or renewable energy projects.
The funding is still subject to continuing congressional appropriations with further funding announcements available here.