Germany Debates Renewable Energy Investements

The FY 2015 budget plan proposes $27.9B in DOE funding, reiterating President Obama’s commitment to a low-carbon future and energy infrastructure resilience.

President Barack Obama’s FY 2015 budget plan released on March 4, 2014 allocates $27.9B for the Department of Energy (DOE), a 2.6 percent increase from the 2014 enacted level. It reflects DOE reorganization into three Under Secretariats – Science and Energy, Nuclear Security, and Management and Performance. Clean energy proposals focus on the 2013 Climate Action Plan (CAP) which aims to achieve 17 percent emissions reduction by 2020 relative to 2005 levels. The budget plan also supports DOE’s role as the Secretariat in developing the FY 2015 Quadrennial Energy Review to provide an integrated strategy to address energy infrastructure challenges.

Among the highlights, the budget proposal provides $9.8B for DOE science and energy programs focused on CAP goals, including $4.1B for applied energy activities. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) would receive $2.3B to advance the application of critical clean energy technologies. Within EERE, funding would increase by 15 percent from 2014 enacted levels for sustainable vehicle and fuel technologies, by 39 percent for energy efficiency and advanced manufacturing initiatives, and by 16 percent for innovative renewable power projects. The Office of Science would receive $5.1B for research infrastructure in clean energy foundational science and other areas.

To support investment in clean energy technologies, the proposal would repeal more than $4B annual fossil fuel subsidies. The proposal diverts $2M over the next 10 years from federal oil and gas revenue to the Energy Security Trust to support alternative transportation fuel research and development. It also makes the renewable energy production tax credit permanent and refundable. Cross-cutting initiatives covered under the proposal include grid modernization, supercritical carbon dioxide technologies in power generation, subsurface engineering activities, advanced computing systems, and cybersecurity measures.

The budget plan proposes $11.7B for the National Nuclear Security Administration to maintain and modernize the nuclear security enterprise, reduce global nuclear threats, and provide nuclear propulsion for the U.S. Navy. The nuclear security funding includes $8.3B for weapons activities, $1.6B for nonproliferation activities, and $1.4B for Naval Reactors programs. The Environmental Management program would receive $5.6B to ensure safe processing and disposal of nuclear waste from the Cold War weapon production.

The budget plan allocates $12B for the Department of Interior (DOI) including mandatory funds for Land and Water Conservation Fund programs and oil and gas management reforms to generate $2.5B in savings over 10 years. It provides $7.9B for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), emphasizing climate initiatives and reforms to improve program effectiveness through the E-Enterprise Initiative that supports transition to electronic reporting.

March 7, 2014 via Energy Solutions Forum.

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