Last year, the U.S. Congress passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that included $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging, $65 billion to upgrade the electricity grid, and $8 billion to establish 4 hydrogen hubs, among other expenditures in clean energy. The U.S. Department of Energy Loan program office is targeting multiple infrastructure and technologies, including battery storage, DERs, advanced vehicle manufacturing and carbon capture and storage.
The new round of public funding comes against the backdrop of attention on social and environmental goals. The Biden administration stated aims to commit 40 percent of new clean energy funds to disadvantaged communities. Historically, women-run firms have been underrepresented in major infrastructure development projects receiving U.S. federal government support, such as the Loan Guarantee programs. For example, between 2009 and 2020, the chief executive officers of ventures that received over $1 billion allocations from the loan guarantee program were all male-run. Women are also underrepresented in grants from the DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR).
The Center on Global Energy Policy hosted a panel of women clean energy CEOs to discuss the potential of the infrastructure bill and other Biden administration policies to fast-track clean energy infrastructure in the United States and the role of women-led firms in accelerating the energy transition.
- Amy Myers Jaffe, Co-chair of the Steering Committee, Women in Energy Program, Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University SIPA
- Emily Chasan, Director, Communications, Generate Capital
- Alexandra Rasch Castillo, Founder and CEO, Caban Systems
- Janice Tran, CEO and Co-Founder, Kanin Energy