Energy Budget Dominates Week

The main story of interest this week is the President’s Budget request  released on Monday, February 13.  The White House Federal Budget Overview can be found here.       


The FY 2012 budget request for Department of Energy increased DOE spending by 11.8% over the FY 2010 budget to a total of 29.5 billion.  Allocation of this 29.5 billion is as follows:

  • 11.9 billion for nuclear weapons and nonproliferation missions
  • 6.3 billion for environmental cleanup and radioactive waste management
  • 5.9 billion  for basic science and advanced research projects agency – energy
  • 291 million for innovative and advanced energy technology credit programs
  • 4.8 billion for  energy supply and energy efficiency programs

Of critical interest to Electricity 2.0 in this Budget Request are the following:

  • $450 million increase in funding for basic energy science research which will create three Energy Innovation Hubs to focus on batteries, critical materials and Smart Grid technologies. 
  • 88% increase in technology funding for solar energy including a  61% increase in technology funding for wind energy; a 135% increase in technology for geothermal energy and a 58% increase in biomass energy. 
  • $69 million in new and increased funding for Smart Grid electricity transmission technologies and energy storage
  • Expansion of the DOE Loan Guarantee Program with $200 million proposed to subsidize new loans, which could translate to as much as $2 billion in additional loan volume for renewable energy and energy efficiency renovations

Electricity 2.0 programs and areas that will benefit as a result of the FY 2012 Budget:

  • Electric Vehicles – to back up the President’s goal of putting one million electric vehicles on the U.S. roads by 2015, the budget includes $200 million in competitive programs to encourage communities that invest in electric vehicle infrastructure
  • Clean Energy Strategy - the budget proposes to double the share of electricity from clean energy sources by 2035.  By clean energy sources, the Administration includes  renewable technologies, clean coal, nuclear power, and natural gas
  • Research and Development –$8.7 billion federal investments in R & D that focus on accelerating the diffusion of clean energy technology in the marketplace
  • Renewable energy – a 70% increase in renewable energy R&D support for 1 dollar a watt initiative to make solar energy cost competitive and funding for a 24 hour geothermal storage and increased funding for wind energy R&D

Other Agencies with Energy related funding:

  • Department of Agriculture:   $6.5 billion for financial assistance to USDA electric cooperatives to promote expansion of renewable energy technologies
  • Department of Defense: a focus on projects to reduce carbon based energy use, the deployment of more efficient turbine engines, alternative energy sources and storage technologies that reduce need for local generators
  • Department of Interior:  $73 million for renewable energy development activities including the review and permitting of new solar wind and geothermal activity generation capacity on federal lands.

 Chair of Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Jeff Bingaman  (D-NM) in a press release stated his strong support of the increases pro9posed for Department of Energy programs.  DOE Secretary  Steve Chu testified before the Senate Energy Committee on Wenesday, February 16, on the proposed DOE Budget. 

Meanwhile, on the House side, Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Fred Upton (R-MI) was far more concerned with the Continuing Resolution’s EPA blocking language.  Meanwhile, Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA), Bobby Rush, and John Yarmuth circulated a “dear colleague” letter attempting to rally support for their efforts to strip EPS-blocking language.  To read the letter click here.