Summary

The President’s FY 2011 budget request for the Department of Energy’s EE/RE programs is $2.36 billion, an increase of $113 million (or five percent) compared to FY2010 appropriations and approximately eight percent of the total DOE budget. Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability programs increased by $14 million (or five percent). The budget request for fossil fuels decreased by $191 million (or 20 percent), primarily through a $105 million cut in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The administration requested $300 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) program, authorized in the America COMPETES Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-69) to fund high-risk, high-payoff research and development projects, following its initial FY 2009 funds of approximately $400 million.

On February 23, 2010, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus held a briefing on the Obama administration’s FY 2011 budget request for energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy (RE) programs. The administration and many Congressional leaders have emphasized the role of energy efficiency and renewable energy in growing American businesses and jobs, strengthening our energy security, and reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. At this briefing, representatives from the Department of Energy (DOE) and Congressional Research Service gave an overview of requested funding levels for various programs, and provided context on how these amounts compare to EE/RE funding in previous years.

  • Assistant Secretary Cathy Zoi supported an ambitious ramp-up of energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy (RE), stating, “What we need the energy sector to do now is move as quickly as the telecommunications sector did over the last 10-20 years.”
  • The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has organized its efforts around four platforms:
  1. Speed and Scale - Clean energy technology is well established and ready for rapid deployment at large scale.
  2. High Impact Innovation - DOE is the largest research and development body in the world and would like to invest research funds in areas that will have high impact on job creation and greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. Talent - To ensure the quickest success rate, DOE needs to attract the best talent in the clean energy sector.
  4. Capturing Hearts and Minds - DOE recognizes the importance of discussing successful domestic outcomes within the clean energy sector, and is collecting these stories on its Energy Empowers web page.
  • President Obama’s FY 2011 budget request included $2.36 billion for EERE funding, approximately double the FY 2006 budget of $1.16 billion. EERE has distributed its budget request into five categories: Advanced Fuels & Vehicles (requested to receive $545.3 million, or 23 percent of the total EERE budget), Clean Energy Generation ($657.4 million, or 28 percent), Energy Efficiency ($758 million, or 32 percent), Education & Outreach ($50 million, or two percent) and Corporate Management ($344.4 million, or 15 percent).
  • The $50 million for Education & Outreach would go toward the newly established RE-ENERGYSE program to catalyze science, technology and engineering education and workforce development that support clean energy needs.
  • Within the Clean Energy Generation category, the wind program would receive $122.5 million, an increase of 53 percent from the FY 2010 budget. Of this amount, $49 million would be allocated for a large scale offshore wind demonstration project.
  • Within the Energy Efficiency category, the weatherization and intergovernmental program would receive $385 million, a 43 percent increase compared to the FY 2010 budget. This includes a $90 million increase for weatherization grants and a $25 million increase for the State Energy Program.
  • Cathy Zoi emphasized the need for a variety of large scale renewable technologies, including biopower, concentrating solar power, offshore wind, and water development, and said “the truth is we need to be able to tap into all our renewable energy resources to meet our policy objectives.”
  • The DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has amplified its crosscutting activities with other government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of the Interior, Department of Defense (DOD), and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. It is also working closely with DOE offices and programs such as the Office of Science, ARPA-E, Office of Electricity, and Fossil Energy.
  • Notable decreases in the FY 2011 budget request include $37 million (or 21 percent) less for the hydrogen/fuel cell program, and $9.5 million (or 19 percent) less for marine and hydrokinetic technologies under the water power program.

Speaker Slides