Source: The Department of Energy, April 23
The U.S. Department of Energy announced the Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) 2019 Funding Opportunity (FOA) for up to $47 million for innovative technologies to make energy more affordable.
Residential and commercial buildings account for approximately 40% of the Nation’s total energy demand and about 75% of all electricity use. In addition, growing peak electricity demands are challenging the electrical grid, exacerbated by stresses from transmission and distribution infrastructure constraints and the increasing number of variable renewable electricity power generation sources. However, integration of more flexible and even dispatchable loads through building automation can optimize energy use leading to decreased energy costs while maintaining occupant preferences. Even greater optimization of energy supply, storage, and demand results in a more resilient and reliable grid that simultaneously improves energy affordability.
Buildings have historically been passive consumers of energy, but next-generation flexible technologies give buildings and equipment the potential to provide a host of grid services that utilities currently receive from other, more traditional grid assets. Further research will help achieve this vision at-scale.