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White House launches clean energy effort, $100 million in technology funding

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Biden administration on Thursday announced the U.S. Department of Energy will offer $100 million in funding to support low-carbon energy technologies and create a working group to aid their development and sale.

National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy revealed the news at the White House’s first meeting of the National Climate Task Force, which included cabinet leaders from 21 federal agencies. The task force was created in President Joe Biden’s Jan. 27 executive order on tackling climate change.

McCarthy reiterated the Biden administration believes an aggressive shift to a clean energy economy can reinvigorate the U.S. economy and create jobs.

“We are positioning America to create good-paying, union jobs in a just and equitable way in communities across the nation that will be at the forefront of new manufacturing for clean energy and new technology, tools, and infrastructure that will help us adapt to a changing climate,” McCarthy said.

The White House also said the new Climate Innovation Working Group will focus on commercializing technologies like direct air capture and battery storage, and “emphasize research to bolster and build critical clean energy supply chains in the United States.”

The Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E, funds high risk but potentially transformational energy projects such as next generation batteries for electric cars and storing energy from wind and solar power.

The previous Trump administration had sought to terminate ARPA-E and loan programs by the department but the program had bipartisan support in Congress and lawmakers continued to fund it.

Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Aurora Ellis