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AEIN Newsletter: June 2023

AEIN is on LinkedIn

Stay connected with other AEIN members by joining the AEIN LinkedIn Group! You can use this group to share relevant news, meet other entrepreneurs interested in U.S. federal policy, and highlight interesting opportunities to the network.

AEIN membership is growing

AEIN is nearly 100 members strong! Members represent 46 cities in 26 states and feature startup CEOs, entrepreneurs, incubators and accelerators, funders, researchers, and others. If you know anyone interested in joining, send them to [email protected].

Share your stories

Do you have a success story you want to share with policymakers? Something unique about your region that you think should be highlighted? An experience with a DOE program that would be useful for the government to hear about? AEIN members are at the forefront of innovation and we want to hear your stories. We plan to share your stories in our newsletter, with policymakers, government officials, and anywhere else that will make an impact. Share your story here.


Recent updates

Reforestation hits a seedling supply snag

A recent CTVC newsletter highlighted the national seedling shortage as a major bottleneck in reforestation and mentioned a recent BPC blog post about the need for investments in nursery infrastructure, soil quality, and sapling survival rates. It also featured Mast Reforestation, a portfolio company of AEIN member Elemental Excelerator!


Discussing DOE funding and Northeast Ohio

AEIN co-lead Tanya Das recently sat down with the Youngstown/Warren Chamber of Commerce to talk about how DOE funding can be transformative to deploying energy technologies – especially in Ohio’s “Voltage Valley” – and what policymakers in DC are working on across party lines. Thanks to AEIN member Rick Stockburger from BRITE Energy Innovators for inviting us to speak!


Navigating direct air capture deployment

BPC’s Direct Air Capture Advisory Council recently released an of the evolving landscape of DAC startups, delving into the primary risks they face—from scientific and engineering intricacies to commercial viability and financial challenges. This report provides insights into the current state of technology maturity among DAC companies, while also uncovering the potential role of federal funding and strategic initiatives in fostering the widespread adoption of DAC technologies.


Support for pilot-scale demos at DOE

In March, BPC released its second AEIN report, outlining the gap in federal support for pilot-scale demonstration projects scaling up into early deployment in need of $5-$20 million in funding. The report’s core recommendation – that DOE’s recently established Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) support these projects through a new SBIR/STTR program – was included in OCED’s recent Request for Information on funding for pilots.  The recommendations in this report were developed in consultation with AEIN members and other clean energy startups, incubators and accelerators, investors, NGOs, think tanks, and researchers. Huge thanks to the AEIN members who engaged with us to develop these recommendations!


Upcoming events

(Virtual) AEIN members meeting

Join us for the June AEIN members meeting on Monday, June 26th from 3-4 PM ET / 12-1 PM PT. This meeting is for members and friends of AEIN and will feature discussion about the latest AEIN activities, developments in the federal energy policy, and opportunities to collaborate on new ideas. We will also hear from a guest speaker. Full agenda to come. Register to attend here!

(Virtual) Discussions on labs, manufacturing, and community engagement

AEIN is planning to host a series of virtual roundtables on topics identified by members as key priorities: working with national labs, manufacturing, and community engagement. The goal of these discussions is to hear from you about your experience — what has worked well, what roadblocks you’ve faced, and what needs to change – to help us identify future policy projects for AEIN. Let us know your interest level in these topics through our short survey here.


Federal policy roundup

Default narrowly avoided

Congress signed the congressional debt limit bill, the Fiscal Responsibility Act, into law on June 3rd, narrowly avoiding an unprecedented default on the U.S. federal government’s debt. The final deal suspends the debt limit until 2025 and restricts government spending for the next two years. Permitting reform was also a component, including some NEPA reforms and time limits on environmental assessments.


House Republican bill would modify clean energy and R&D tax credits

House Republicans recently introduced the Build it in America Act, a tax bill that would repeal or roll back several of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) clean energy tax incentives and modify the R&D tax credit. The bill includes modifications to the electric vehicle tax credit including repealing the credit for used and commercial vehicles and imposing stricter critical minerals domestic manufacturing and sourcing requirements. The bill would also repeal the clean electricity production and investment tax credits (45Y and 48E).  Notably, the bill also addresses recent concerns with the Section 174 R&D tax deduction – a topic of much discussion since the amortization over 5-year requirement went into effect last year. The bill would retroactively address the amortization timing by delaying the 5-year requirement until 2026. The House Ways and Means Committee voted the Build it in America Act out of Committee and it now awaits House floor action.

AEIN member Clean Energy Business Network is leading an effort to collect signatures in support of section 174, which since 1954 had enabled businesses to deduct R&D expenses in the year incurred. Learn more about how this affects small businesses and sign on here


Bipartisan Senators say “Prove It”

Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) introduced the PROVE IT Act, new legislation that would lay the groundwork for tariffs on imports from countries with lower environmental and emissions standards. The bill increases federal data collected to quantify the emissions intensity of U.S. goods compared to emissions of goods produced in other countries. Read BPC’s explainer on border carbon adjustments here.


Scaling a U.S. hydrogen economy

DOE recently released a roadmap for enabling a U.S. clean hydrogen economy by (1) targeting high-impact use cases for hydrogen, (2) reducing the cost of clean hydrogen, and (3) building regional networks. BPC’s American Energy Innovation Council released a report last month with recommendations for DOE’s implementation of the Hydrogen Hubs program, including a specific callout for the hubs to effectively partner with startups in the hydrogen space.


Opportunities We’re Tracking

The Justice40 Accelerator is accepting applications for their next cohort in support of community-based and community-led groups and organizations working at the frontlines of environmental crises and advancing community-driven climate solutions. Selected participants will receive project development support and technical assistance to competitively apply for grant funding. Apply by July 31st here.

Public funding sources can be difficult to track down. Here are a few resources to help you parse through relevant federal and other funding opportunities:


Do you have a resource or opportunity you’d like to share with the network? Let us know by sending an email to [email protected].

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