Energy education grants available in U.S.
Matching grants are available to enable any disadvantaged school district anywhere in the U.S. to receive $1 million to $50 million federal funds for energy efficiency, renovation, technology, curriculum and teacher training.
The National Education Foundation, the national non-profit leader in STEM education as well as assisting schools to find federal funds, will offer the grants.
The little-known federal funding program has $700 million available. NEF has set aside $70 million to provide the required 10 percent matching grant. NEF would also set up the mandated STEM+ (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, English, Social Studies, SAT/ACT, IT, Business) academy at no cost to the school district.
Any school district with at least 35 percent of students on free or reduced cost lunch is eligible to apply. NEF's STEM+ academies are capable of advancing a student one grade level in a subject in 20-30 learning hours in the NEF system, as documented by the State University of New York (SUNY), which implements the STEM+ academies nationally with a grant from NEF.
“School districts across the nation are faced with serious budget cuts at a time U.S. rankings in math, reading and science are still going down. Twenty four countries are ranked ahead of U.S. in math,” said Dr. Appu Kuttan, chairman of the National Education Foundation (NEF), author, philanthropist and global expert in digital education, STEM education and empowerment.
“Our $70 million grant program would provide school districts the required 10 percent match and a world-class STEM+ academy at no cost. Moreover, schools located in low income communities could receive additional Federal cash grants.”
The NEF's Adopt-A-School program, formulated at the Clinton Global Initiative in Chicago, also creates school-college-business partnerships to provide world-class STEM+ academies for disadvantaged schools at no cost to the schools. Applications are available at www.qzab.org. Grants are awarded on a first-come first-served basis.
Former President Bill Clinton has commended NEF's STEM+ academy program: “You are helping to empower tomorrow's leaders. I salute you for your ongoing commitment for creating a better and stronger America.”
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.