|The President’s Budget proposes a 12% increase in funding for the Department of Energy. Click to enlarge.|
In support of President Obama’s goal of having 1 million advanced technology vehicles on US roads by 2015, the President’s Budget submitted today proposes a new effort to support electric vehicle manufacturing and adoption in the United States through new consumer rebates, investments in R&D, and competitive programs to encourage communities that invest in electric vehicle infrastructure.
Specifically, the Budget proposes to: transform the existing $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles into a rebate that will be available to all consumers immediately at the point of sale; advance innovative technologies through new R&D investments by investing $588 million for vehicle technologies at the US Department of Energy (DOE)—an increase of 88% above current funding levels—and reward communities that invest in electric vehicle infrastructure through a $200 million program, modeled after Race to the Top, which provides an incentive for communities to invest in electric vehicle infrastructure and remove regulatory barriers.
The proposed budget also reduces funding for the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s hydrogen technology program by nearly $70 million—more than 40%.
Overall, the Budget for the DOE proposes spending of $29.5 billion, a 12% increase over the 2010 enacted level. The increases are in areas such as certain clean energy programs, nuclear security, and research and development; significant cuts are proposed in fossil energy programs.
|Organizational-level DOE budget requests for FY 2012. Click to enlarge.|
The Budget proposal doubles the number of Energy Innovation Hubs to 6, with support of $146 million, adding three areas of research to focus on: critical materials including rare earth materials; battery and energy storage; and new grid technologies and systems to help Smart Grid and improve energy transmission efficiency.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy received a proposed budget of $550 million—an increase of $161 million (41%) from funded FY09 levels—to continue to fund the development of potentially game-changing energy technologies. And the Energy Frontier Research Centers are to received $100 million to continue supporting 46 projects started in 2009.
Included in the funding to increases the percentage of electricity produced by clean energy sources is additional loan guarantee support for nuclear power plants and innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Also included in the nuclear program budget is a request for $97 million for the development of small modular nuclear reactors.
The DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy organization—the home of the Vehicle Technologies program and the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies program—is slated for a 44% increase in funding to $3.2 billion.
|EERE budget proposal. Click to enlarge.|
Within EERE, the Biomass and Biorefinery program is also slated for an increase to $341 million (+57%).