Idaho National Laboratory

U.S. Decarbonization Efforts Expand to National Labs

Net Zero Labs Pilot Initiative is expected to produce net-zero solutions that can be replicated at facilities across DOE, the federal government, and state and local governments   June 3, 2022

By FacilitiesNet Staff

Maintenance and engineering managers nationwide are being held to higher sustainability standards, encouraging them to adopt greener and low-emissions practices in institutional and commercial facilities. The shift is a result of air quality issues, emission reduction regulations and, most dramatically, ongoing decarbonization momentum, The Biden administration has set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 50 percent by 2030, in large part via rapid decarbonization of the building sector, which accounts for 40 percent of U.S. GHG emissions 

The federal government’s national laboratories now have become targets in these efforts. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced $38 million to begin decarbonizing four of DOE’s 17 National Laboratories. The Net Zero Labs (NZL) Pilot Initiative will lay the foundation for addressing hard-to-decarbonize industries and is expected to be a foundation of net-zero solutions that can be replicated at facilities across DOE, the federal government, and state and local governments. 

The four laboratories included in this initial pilot are taking steps to harness and produce technology at their facilities to drive down carbon emissions.  

They are participating in the pilot initiative reflect different geographic and climate regions that each face unique energy challenges. In addition to the efforts to decarbonize their own campus operations, they are conducting research that will help bring forward clean energy solutions for the nation. 

The Idaho National Laboratory is conducting advanced nuclear research to develop and integrate microreactors and small modular reactors into microgrids with other renewable energies to produce hydrogen, increase energy storage and provide reliable, secure, and clean energy to communities across the nation. 

The National Energy Technology Laboratory is working to advance carbon-removal technologies and will incentivize carbon-free electricity production within its three geographic regions by entering into power purchase agreements. 

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is working to lower the cost of and increase the scale of technologies to make, store, move and use hydrogen across multiple energy sectors. 

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is developing state-of-the-art methods, algorithms and software platforms designed to enable optimized control and operation of energy assets to achieve economic, emission and resilience priorities, along with energy-storage innovations that will boost clean energy adoption and make the nation’s power grid more resilient, secure and flexible. 


Read next on FacilitiesNet