ORISE facilitates virtual DOE Summit featuring Climate Envoy John Kerry and Microsoft Billionaire Bill Gates

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October 26, 2021

Earlier this summer, ORISE provided virtual meeting support to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Hydrogen Program Annual Merit Review. It was during the event’s opening remarks that DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced the Department’s Energy Earthshots Initiative and a request for information (RFI) was issued on viable hydrogen demonstrations. Energy Earthshots aims to accelerate breakthroughs of more abundant, affordable, and reliable clean energy solutions within the decade. The first Energy Earthshot focuses on hydrogen and seeks to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen by 80 percent while also reducing pollution, creating good-paying jobs, and providing benefits to disadvantaged communities.

Because of ORISE’s strong performance during the Annual Merit Review, the peer review team recently was tasked with supporting the next phase of the Energy Earthshots Initiative—managing logistics for the first Hydrogen Shot Summit on August 31 and September 1, 2021. Designed to engage stakeholders, the Hydrogen Shot Summit convened thousands of participants online to discuss a framework and set the stage for demonstrator projects that address barriers preventing clean hydrogen from being deployed at scale.

In addition to hearing from Secretary Granholm and Deputy Secretary David Turk, attendees also heard opening remarks from Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and a keynote address from Philanthropist Bill Gates. While more famously known for co-founding Microsoft, Gates participated in the Hydrogen Shot Summit as a representative of Breakthrough Energy, an umbrella name of several organizations, founded by Gates in 2015, that aims to accelerate innovation in sustainable energy.

“I think it’s very impressive how Secretary Granholm, Secretary Kerry, and Deputy Secretary Turk have made climate change a huge priority and are working with partners all over the world to make progress on this key problem,” said Gates. “It’s great to see the whole administration setting bold goals and backing up those goals with concrete actions and funding.”

Later in the two-day meeting, DOE shared results from the recent RFI and applied live-polling surveys and breakout sessions to solicit ideas for how to achieve Hydrogen Shot’s “1 1 1” goal of $1 for one kilogram of clean hydrogen in one decade.

ORISE managed all aspects of the meeting logistics and virtual support including the live-polling, videos, presentations, managing a virtual help desk for attendees, and establishing an “attendee hub” that served as a clearinghouse for all event-related information. Once the Summit concluded, ORISE staff provided the Hydrogen Fuel Technologies Office with reports on various engagement metrics such as event registrations, attendees per session, and messages exchanged.

Approximately 4,900 registered for the event with nearly 2,900 attending the plenary session. Deputy Secretary Turk marked the event as a “historic milestone in our shared effort for low-cost, clean hydrogen” and thanked all who collaborated behind the scenes to make it a reality.

The ORISE team was recognized specifically by DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office Director Sunita Satyapal who said “I...truly appreciate you and your team’s efforts and leadership. I’ve gotten emails and texts (even from other countries) saying that the Summit was truly amazing. With all the changes and last minute updates, we especially appreciate your flexibility, professionalism, and dedication.”

Media Contacts

Pam Bonee
Director, Communications
Office: 865.576.3146
Phone: 865.603.5142

Wendy West
Manager, Communications
Office: 865.576.0028
Phone: 865.207.7953

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) asset that is dedicated to enabling critical scientific, research, and health initiatives of the department and its laboratory system by providing world class expertise in STEM workforce development, scientific and technical reviews, and the evaluation of radiation exposure and environmental contamination.

ORISE is managed by ORAU, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, for DOE’s Office of Science. The single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.osti.gov.