DOE Requests $2.4 Billion for Renewable Energy, Efficiency in FY 2011

February 3, 2010

Photo of President Obama gives his State of the Union address.

President Barack Obama emphasized the importance of the clean energy economy during his State of the Union address on January 27.
Credit: Pete Souza, White House

President Barack Obama unveiled on February 1 a $28.4 billion budget request for DOE for fiscal year (FY) 2011, including $2.36 billion for the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The proposed budget aims to reduce unnecessary energy use, boost renewable energy sources, and strengthen clean energy research as the United States moves toward a clean energy economy. The budget request for EERE represents a 5% increase over FY 2010, not counting funds provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The President's budget includes substantial increases for many EERE programs, including a 53% increase for wind energy, a 43% increase for the Weatherization and Intergovernmental program, a 32% increase for the Federal Energy Management Program, a 25% increase for geothermal energy, and a 22% increase for solar energy. The proposed budget also includes $57.5 million for facilities and infrastructure at DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, including the completion of the Energy Systems Integration Facility. It also proposes $50 million for a new program called Regaining our Energy Science and Engineering Edge (Re-Energyse), an educational effort designed to guide students and workers to pursue careers in science, engineering, and entrepreneurship related to clean energy. In addition, the budget asks for a 43% increase in the funding for program direction and calls for nearly doubling the amount spent for program support. The President's budget typically represents a starting point for the Congressional appropriation process. See the DOE press release and text pages 25-31 (PDF pages 30-36) of the DOE Budget Highlights (PDF 4.2 MB) on the DOE budget and performance Web page. Download Adobe Reader.

In addition to the funding for EERE, the proposed DOE budget includes $500 million to support an estimated $3-5 billion in loan guarantees for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, as well as $10 million to support the continued administration of the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program. The budget includes $35 million for clean energy transmission and reliability, $39.3 million for Smart Grid research and development, and $40 million for energy storage on the electrical grid. It also includes $300 million for the Advanced Research Project Agency–Energy (ARPA-E), for transformational energy research that industry by itself cannot and will not support. ARPA-E received $15 million in initial DOE funding in FY 2009 as well as $400 million in Recovery Act funds. The budget also requests an additional $140 million for the existing Energy Frontier Research Centers program, including two new centers, and $107 million for Energy Innovation Hubs. DOE will continue funding the three Energy Innovation Hubs introduced in FY 2010: fuels produced directly from sunlight; improving energy efficient building systems design; and creating a virtual model of an operating nuclear reactor. For FY 2011, DOE is proposing a new hub dedicated to batteries and energy storage. See text pages 2-3, 5-8, 18, 20-24, 32-34, and 53-55 (PDF pages 7-8, 10-13, 23, 25-29, 37-39, and 58-60) of the DOE Budget Highlights document.