In his FY 2014 budget proposal, President Obama increases spending on clean energy development, seeking to expedite R&D and boost cost-competitiveness and deployment of clean energy technologies.
President Barack Obama’s FY2014 budget plan released on April 10, 2013, proposes increases in spending for clean energy production and deployment. The budget aims to support cost-competitiveness and deployment of renewable power, electric vehicles, advanced biofuels, innovative manufacturing processes, and energy efficiency in residential and commercial buildings.
Among the major energy objectives, the budget plan establishes two major goals: double domestic energy productivity by 2030 relative to 2010 levels, and cut net oil imports in half by 2020 relative to 2008 levels. Clean-technology investments for the Department of Energy (DOE) would increase by 40% over current levels, to $6.2 billion, supporting initiatives without adding to the federal deficit. The proposal eliminates tax breaks and subsidies for fossil fuel industries, repealing $4 billion worth of existing subsidies. Conversely, it provides permanent tax incentives for renewable energy production, allotting $23 billion in incentives over the next 10 years.
The proposal allocates $2.8 billion for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) to advance research and development of clean energy technologies. Within EERE, the allotment is 75% higher than 2012 levels for next- generation advanced vehicle technologies, and 42% higher than 2012 levels for next-generation advanced biofuel technologies. The budget increases funding by 29% for innovative clean energy projects that facilitate integration to the power grid. It provides $615 million to enhance the utilization and cost-efficiency of renewable power. DOE would receive $365 million to improve energy efficiency of industries through advanced manufacturing processes, industrial materials, and combined heat and power technologies.
To support diversification of the fuel supply, the budget allots $282 million for conversion technologies to produce cellulosic ethanol, advanced biofuels, and algae-derived biofuels. The budget plan provides $375 million for cleaner fossil fuels, including a $25 million incentive for integration of carbon capture and storage technologies in the first natural gas combined cycle power plant. It also includes $735 million for the Office of Nuclear Energy, including funding for research and development of small modular reactors. Further, it will implement a responsible nuclear waste strategy based on recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future.
The proposed budget includes funding for an Energy Security Trust to invest in advanced transportation technologies aimed at transitioning cars and trucks off oil. The trust will receive $2 billion over 10 years from revenue generated from oil and gas development on federal land and waters.
The budget proposes a “Race to the Top” reward program, whereby state governments that perform best in supporting energy efficiency, modernizing the grid, and cutting energy waste are entitled to a one-time reward of $200 million.
While DOE is the center of clean technology R&D, the budget increases clean energy funding across all agencies by 30%. The Department of Defense, which accounts for three-fourths of energy used by federal government, will receive more than $3 billion for energy conservation initiatives. The Department of Agriculture will receive $255 million for clean energy development. The Department of the Interior will receive $100 million for reviewing and permitting new renewable projects, and additional funds for developmental activities and transmission infrastructure.
The proposed budget would increase U.S. energy security and build on recent success of renewable energy development, energy efficiency, and reduced dependence on oil.
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