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$3.8 Trillion FY 2011 US Budget Proposal Boosts Department of Energy Spending

President Obama today transmitted the proposed $3.8-trillion FY 2011 Budget to the US Congress. The President’s 2011 Budget provides $28.354 billion for the Department of Energy (DOE) in discretionary budget authority—an 8.9% increase over FY 2009 actuals and a 7.4% increase over FY 2010 estimates— to support scientific innovation, develop clean and secure energy technologies, maintain national security, and reduce environmental risk.

When combined with budget authority from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and supplementals, and accounting for mandatory outlays, the DOE will have the capability of $31.165 billion in total outlays in FY 2011—a 30% increase over FY 2009 actuals, and a 7.8% increase over FY 2010 estimates.

In the budget, the Administration proposes several program reductions and terminations, including:

  • Eliminating more than $2.7 billion in tax subsidies for oil, coal and gas industries. This step is estimated to generate more than $38.8 billion dollars in revenue for the federal government over the course of the next 10 years.

  • Terminating Ultra-Deepwater exploration program, saving $50 million.

  • Canceling planned expansion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, saving $71 million.

Among the funding highlights of the DOE budget are:

  • Nearly $2.4 billion is provided for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, an increase of $113 million over the 2010 appropriation, including:

    • $325 million for advanced vehicle technologies
    • $302 million for solar energy
    • $231 million for building technologies
    • $224 million for biomass and biorefinery systems R&D
    • $137 million for hydrogen technology
    • $123 million for wind energy
    • $100 million for industrial technologies
    • $55 million for geothermal technology
    • $41 million for water power
    Select EERE Programs and Financing (US$ millions)
    Program activity2009 act.2010 est.2011 prop.Δ 09-11Δ 10-11
    Vehicle Technologies 267 312 325 +21.7% +4.2%
    Solar energy 167 234 302 +80.8% +29.1%
    Building technologies 138 201 231 +67.4% +14.9%
    Biomass and biorefinery 131 307 224 +70% -27%
    Hydrogen technology 156 183 137 -12.2% -25.1%
    Wind energy 51 84 123 +141.2% +46.4%
    Industrial technologies 79 105 100 +26.6% -4.8%
    Geothermal 42 46 55 +31% +19.6%
    Water power 18 71 41 +127.8% -42.3%
  • Supports high-risk, high-payoff transformational research and development projects with $300 million for the recently established Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E).

  • Provides a 4.6%, or $226 million, increase in funding at the Office of Science for basic research and world-leading laboratories to support transformational scientific discoveries and accelerate solutions to the most pressing energy challenges.

  • Invests $2.3 billion in applied energy research and development to position the United States as the world leader in energy technology that will address climate change, develop new industries, and create new jobs.

  • Provides an additional $36 billion in guaranteed loan volume authority (for a total of $54.5 billion) for advanced nuclear power plants and an additional $500 million in credit subsidy to support $3 to $5 billion in loan guarantees for innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

  • Provides $668 million to Fossil Energy R&D for the ”Clean Coal Power Initiative.“

  • More than $550 million in new funding for national Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation program, which will accelerate the Department’s efforts to implement President Obama’s commitment to lead the international effort to secure vulnerable nuclear material around the world within four years.

  • More than $624 million increase for the NNSA’s weapons activities, helping maintain the safety, security and effectiveness of the nuclear deterrent without underground nuclear testing, renewing our investment in Science, Technology and Engineering programs, and funding major long-term construction projects needed to restore critical capabilities in plutonium and uranium.


Account Deleted

The US budget deficit is extremely worrying and it should not be allowed to get that large unless world war III breaks out or something worse. Another thing to notice is the massive layouts for nuclear energy. Why? I don’t think there is public support for that. Large scale protests against construction of new plants or any movement of radioactive waste will drag out the construction and ultimately lead to an abandonment of these projects. Moreover, nuclear power is not the future because it is:

1) Too expensive. No nuclear plant has ever been built without massive public funding and a waiver of economic responsibility for the owners of the plant in case it is hit by a large leak or blows up. No private insurance company is willing to offer such insurance. In other words, it is not safe enough to be economically viable.

2) It increases the proliferation risks. It is impossible to avoid that some of the scientist and engineers that are used to build nuclear power plants will end up helping the enemies of the free world to get their own nuclear weapons. One day this could lead to a nuclear terrorist attract on a large US or Chinese city for that sake. We should do everything in our power to prevent that from happening including dismantling the entire civilian nuclear program.

3) Nuclear power plants are perfect targets for terrorists. 9/11 will be small potato compared to a new terrorist induced Chernobyl in a nuclear power facility in a populated area in the US.

4) Nuclear waste is an unsolved and accumulating problem. Nuclear waste is non-destructible and takes minimum 10s of thousands of years to become non-dangerous to a level where it does not need to be kept under guard and managed. You can’t burry it in a mountain without risking dangerous transports to that mountain. And even if the transportation issue is hypothetically ignored you still haven’t solved the storage problem. The mountain will need to be kept under guard and you will need to constantly monitor and repackage the waste every 30 years or so to be sure that the waste does not leak to the groundwater. Over time it will be extremely expensive to do so for an accumulating mass of waste and we just can’t pass such a burden on to future generations. It is demeaning.

5) Nuclear power plants needs to run constantly at full speed and they therefore cannot provide the grid leverage that is required when using substantial degrees of renewable energy in the grid. Wind turbines and gas turbines fit together because gas turbines can deliver when the wind does not blow. You can’t have both nuclear and renewable energy. You have to choose either nuclear or renewable.

Renewable energy is the future because it don’t pollute and because its fuel is absolutely fee and plentiful for all nations.

The Goracle


One of the great things about the Internet is having access to facts in order to quickly refute false claims like the above.

Support for Nuclear Energy Inches Up to New High
Majority believes nuclear power plants are safe

An excerpt fro the mouse-click lazy:
PRINCETON, NJ -- A majority of Americans have been supportive of the use of nuclear energy in the United States in recent years, but this year's Gallup Environment Poll finds new high levels of support, with 59% favoring its use, including 27% who strongly favor it.

Nuclear energy is the way to go if one is concerned about CO2 emissions (which, in itself, is laughable but there are a lot of Globalwarmists fretting about CO2 on a regular basis).

If you are one of those who praise anything and everything that Europe does: France is powered by roughly 80% nuclear power.

If you are one who believes that people must live on zero energy use then, yes, wind energy is for you. Wind powers about one percent of the U.S. Wind must have a BIG backup system available for those non windy days. The cost is ridiculous.


The Goracle


Although I do agree that it is criminal to put such a MASSIVE, unpayable, debt onto our children. This young generation will be the first generation forced to live a lower standard of living because of the excesses and selfishness of our politicians currently in charge of running the U.S.

"Sorry little Sally - you get to pay that $150,000 when you grow up because I want my 'FREE' government money. Good luck with that!"

Or, expect massive inflation in the near future in order to devalue the national debt.

Either way it's a bad scenario.



Wind and Solar energies are both very clean sources but unless you have plenty of (expensive) energy storage or quick start back ups, meeting the demand will be a challenge.

Areas with plenty of Hydro power can use Wind + Solar as base load providers and Hydro power on an as required basis to back them up. Hydro can easily store the water in the huge reservoirs when e-power demand is low. Over equipment may have to be added in many Hydro power plants but that is not a major challenge. It is a very well known technology. Secondly, large water turbines are about the best (highest efficiency - close to 100%) power transformers in the world and water is free and abundant in many places.


Smaller generators start up faster than large ones, the key to using wind and solar is to use decentralized generation to collect this decentralized energy and add in small NG/biogas powered engines for back up.
"The Institute for Solar Energy Supply Technology of the University of Kassel pilot-tested a combined power plant linking solar, wind, biogas and hydrostorage to provide load-following power around the clock, entirely from renewable sources."


USA and many other industrial nations have used an economic model based on continously increased demand - spending - debts. Every year, individuals and various levels of government are encouraged to spend 3% to 10% more than their revenues to keep to economy going.

The problem with this type of economy is that it creates bubbles, inflation and huge debts.

Every so often, the bubble burst (as it should) and recession sets in for a full decade or more. This time around, many governments tried to compensate by pouring $BBBB into their economy. This short term fix will just make the next bubble even worst. The structural fundamental economic desease have to be fixed. New regulations will have to be used to stop huge embezzlement by a few thousand speculators.

It will not be easy to do because all those very rich speculators will fight back and will influence elections until they get the leaders who will let them continue what they have been doing for decades.



Let all those people who support nuclear power invest in it. No one is stopping private investors from doing so. If nuclear is so great, the money will be available privately. Just don't put my tax dollars in it.

Will S

"All the above" energy sources is the way to go (including energy storage and smart grid), as long as non-CC coal is phased out.

The Goracle

JMartin said: Let all those people who support nuclear power invest in it. No one is stopping private investors from doing so. If nuclear is so great, the money will be available privately. Just don't put my tax dollars in it.

No doubt you say the same thing about solar, wind, and other tax-payer subsidized (HEAVILY subsidized!) energy. Of course the same goes for government health care, etc., as well, correct? If some tax payer doesn't want their tax dollars going to something, let the market take care of it and don't use said person's tax dollars.



The arguments against nuclear power are all invalidated by their quantity and success in France.

And, as Goracle points out, nuclear power's requirement for government support is just like wind, solar and government health care.



If you are one who believes that people must live on zero energy use then, yes, wind energy is for you. Wind powers about one percent of the U.S. Wind must have a BIG backup system available for those non windy days. The cost is ridiculous.

All wrong.

Wind delivers twice as much power as you state. A figure even a few years old is hopelessly out of date since wind power is the fastest growing new source of energy, showing double digit growth year after year. There is 39 GW installed capacity in the USA by the end of 2009. Despite the crisis, a record amount of 10 GW new wind was installed.

Non windy days only occur locally. On the scale of a country, especially one the size of the US, there is always wind.

Wind is cheaper than nuclear. The capital cost of nuclear power alone is more than $0.10 per kWh. See cost estimates for some new plants: ($ 14 billion for 2234 MW) (C$ 26 billion for 2400 MW)

The Fraunhofer Institute has published a report showing that Germany can shut down half of its baseload in 2020 due to the increase in renewable energy (mainly wind):

Will S

TT said;

The arguments against nuclear power are all invalidated by their quantity and success in France.

Success AND failure must be taken into account;

Accidents and uncertain rules harm nuclear power's image in Europe


The national debt was 33% of the national domestic product in 1981 and 69% in 2009.

Since the Clinton years had a 7% surplus, the Republican Presidents more than doubled the US debt ratio during twenty years, all the while cutting tax rates for the rich.

However radiated one hopes we become, don't blame Obama's year for Republican decades of debt spending.

Stan Peterson


You are wholly mistaken. Protest and mobs chanting "No Nukes!" did not stop the immature nuclear power in the 1970s and 1980s. Principled critics, using legal tools, in courts of law, accomplished those long delays, that led to abandonement of many plants while under construction.

The rules of legal standing, and the ability to bring suit, have now all been altered. None of those legal tools is available anymore to critics. A New fleet of Nuclear plants will be built, on time and on schedule, if the Bozos in The Clueless Ones administration doesn't actively prevent it.

We need that clean power, and even if Mr. Obama is spreading FUD, his Administration is at least nominally promoting nuclear power.

Some 35 much larger, much better, and 'perfected' nuclear plants will join the 100 or so smaller ones in operation, and almost double nuclear power by 2020. Most will add to our electricity supply. Most of the displaced power, will come from the oldest and dirtiest coal plants being retired.



Gas turbines provide a lot of peak demand power now, there is no reason that they can not run on renewable methane. The smart grid should be able to track load profiles more accurately for less spinning reserves and more efficiency.

Stan Peterson

Who do you suppose is paying for those 35 new nuclear power plants? The private users of electricity, via energy payments to the utility, building the plant pays for those nuclear power plants.

Who pays for Polluting wind and solar, or didn't you know that? Yes I said POLLUTING, wind and solar? Have you ever heard of 'thermal pollution' or 'aural pollution' or 'breeding disruption'side efects or 'Albedo reduction pollution' or 'weather severity inhancement' side effects?

I thought not. Why not? These are all pollution associated with these supposedly pollution-free sources.

Who pays for the pittance of power that wind and solar manage to produce? Certainly not the users of the pittance of power they occasionally manage to produce.
It is only by enormous governmental subsidies do these white elephants get contructed, or than operate.

The power they manage to generate, about 8% of nameplate rating, do not come close to paying for them. In most cases they don't even generate enough electricity to pay for the raw materials consumed in building them.


Nuclear energy is spelled o-v-e-r-r-u-n-s, even triple typical utility rates:

Germany already has over 14% renewable energy, with 28% insight for 2020.

But perhaps even greater budget problems lie in far flung $1 million per soldier per year foreign invasions and occupations.


Re: Nuclear Power Plant Construction Stalls in the 1970's and 1980's in USA:
Uranium was expensive compared to oil and coal equivalents. Oil fluctuated, but on the time horizon of a nuclear power plant, it was often low enough to make nuclear power too capital intensive and expensive on the margin. Yes, permits and protests made it harder, but it was the base economics that made nuclear unattractive. If carbon taxes or caps are perceived as inevitable, nuclear gets more attractive too.

Over the years, the US government has subsidized the fossil fuel industry by more than $200 Billion by some estimates. Now Coal and Oil are "mature" industries that need no further subsidization. Let Solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, biofuels, etc. get the next $200 Billion in subsidization.


@ Stan,

Your numbers are out of date. The inherent energy in photovoltaic panels has been dropping for decades. Now with thin-film providers like First Solar, Solyndra, and NanoSolar, the Energy Return on Invested Energy (EROIE) apparently passes break even in 2 months to 1 year.

Get a new hobby horse to ride.


On the subject of Nuclear Energy Plant Construction in North America:

Plant construction stalled in the US in the 1970's and 1980's because even without protests, the permitting and construction process was very capital intensive AND uranium mining and refining meant the cost per KwH was just not competitive with fossil fuels. It was economics, pure and simple. A carbon tax or cap would make nuclear more attractive, too.

My impression is that nuclear fuel is incredibly energy intensive to mine and refine and, like corn ethanol, may NEVER have a positive EROIE. Does anybody have any sources which could confirm that?



A New fleet of Nuclear plants will be built, on time and on schedule

Keep on dreaming.

Duke Energy eyes delay for Lee nuclear project

Olkiluoto 3 losses to reach €1.7 billion

Bruce refurbishment

A quote from the last article (dated april 2008):
The consortium said last week that after a “comprehensive review” it remains confident that units one and two of the complex on the Lake Huron shore can be returned to service “close to the planned dates of 2009 and early 2010,”

Now in november 2009, you can read this:
Two reactors at Canada's Bruce A nuclear power plant that have been out of service for over a decade have been given regulatory approval for refuelling, and look set for 2011 restarts.

So they racked up another year of delay in 1.5 years. And they already spent 10 friggin' years refurbishing that plant.

The refurbishment has cost C$ 3.4 billion for two 750 MW reactors. That's just a refurbishment!

Nuclear is expensive, slow and unplannable.


Diablo Caynon in California was a twin reactor that was built backwards initially and had to be torn down and rebuilt before it even started up. These are the people that are suppose to be trusted with nuclear material.

Yankee, San Onofre and 25 other plant are old and leaking tritium. I guess they don't bother to maintain their underground pipes and replace them before they corrode. These are the people that they trust with nuclear material.


The difference in the success of nuclear power in France and the failure in the US comes from the free market dogma: In France they built ONE nuclear power plant, and copied it. In America you have ~28 nuclear power companies and I think each either designed their own power plant or had them built to their own criteria.

It's been said that in France a nuclear plant operating crew can walk into any plant in the country and find even the coffee maker in the same place.

Or atleast that's what I've been told; if someone has better info, please feel free...


Both France and Japan has lot of nuclear plants, because they HAVE to with few natural resources. The U.S. has wind, hydro and geothermal that can be used instead. We have lots of land to grow crops and use the biomass. Nuclear may be good for submarines and aircraft carriers, but is not needed in domestic electricity production.



Your assumptions make sense.

Japan + France + many other nations may not have too many other choices for base load electricity supply. Of course they could import coal and use 400+ polluting coal fired power plants instead of 150+ larger nuclear plants. Thank God they did not.

Wind power could supply 20% in each country in the relatively near future. Sun power may also help latter.

China is planning to build 100 to 120 up-to-date nuclear power plants in the next 20 years. They will probably recycle the used fuel. Those new power plants will be required for the 300 million BEVs they will have on their roads in the same time frame.

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