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February 15, 2018
The bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus introduced their first piece of legislation, the Challenges & Prizes for Climate Act (H.R.5031), on February 15. Sponsored by Representative Dan Lipinski (D-IL-3) with five other caucus members signed on as original cosponsors, the bill aims to establish a Climate Solutions Challenges program within the Department of Energy to fund clean energy prize competitions and consequently spur innovation in key areas critical to combating climate change. In carrying out the program, the bill would authorize $10 million and require the Secretary of Energy to include at least one prize competition on each of the following areas: carbon capture and beneficial use, energy efficiency, energy storage, climate resiliency, and data analytics. According to Representative Lipinski, this legislation encourages public-private partnerships, pays only for performance, and has the potential to yield major technological advances and accelerate market development – a tactic that has proven successful in the past by leading to developments in hydrogen fuel cell technology.
Sources: Library of Congress, U.S. House of Representatives