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President’s 2016 Budget requests $29.9B for DOE; 9% boost over FY 2015 enacted; $793M (2.7%) for sustainable transportation

President Barack Obama’s 2016 Budget requests $29.9 billion for the US Department of Energy (DOE). The FY 2016 DOE Budget Request represents a 9% increase ($2.5 billion) above the FY 2015 enacted level.

42% of the DOE Budget Request ($12.6 billion) is for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), an increase of $1.2 billion over the FY 2015 Enacted level, to maintain a safe, secure, and effective nuclear weapons stockpile in the absence of nuclear testing and manage the research, development, and production activities and associated infrastructure maintenance and modernization needed to meet national nuclear security requirements.

The Request funds efforts to reduce the global threat posed by nuclear weapons, nuclear proliferation and unsecured or excess nuclear materials, and it supports activities that provide safe and effective propulsion for the US nuclear Navy.

$6.5 billion (21.7%) is for Departmental management and performance activities. The largest portion of this is $5.8 billion to support the cleanup effort to remediate the environmental legacy of over six decades of nuclear weapons and nuclear research, development, and production.

The $10.7 billion (35.8%) science and energy Budget Request, $1.3 billion above the FY 2015 Enacted level, sustains DOE’s role as the largest federal sponsor of basic research in the physical sciences and develops and operates advanced scientific user facilities at the National Laboratories to maintain the nation’s primacy in science and innovation.

Within the $10.7 billion, the FY 2016 Budget requests $4.8 billion for applied energy activities, including:

  • $2.72 billion for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), $809 million above the FY 2015 Enacted level, to continue a diverse suite of sustained investment in sustainable transportation technologies ($793 million), renewable energy generation technologies ($645 million), and development of manufacturing technologies and enhanced energy efficiency in our homes, buildings and industries ($1.03 billion).

  • $908 million for Nuclear Energy, $74 million above the FY 2015 Enacted level, for ongoing R&D in advanced reactor and fuel cycle technologies as well as small modular reactor licensing technical support. The Request also continues to lay the groundwork for full implementation of the Administration’s Strategy for the Management and Disposal of Used Nuclear Fuel and High Level Radioactive Waste released in January 2013, and it provides $99 million for research, development, and integrated waste management system activities in the areas of transportation, storage, disposal, and consent-based siting.

  • $842 million for Fossil Energy including: $560 million for Fossil Energy Research and Development, essentially unchanged from the FY 2015 Enacted level, to advance carbon capture and storage and natural gas technologies; and $257 million for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, $57 million above the FY 2015 Enacted level, to increase the system’s durability and reliability and begin addressing the backlog of deferred maintenance.

  • $270 million, $123 million above the FY 2015 Enacted level, for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability grid modernization activities to support a smart, resilient electric grid for the 21st century and fund critical emergency response and grid security capabilities, including grant programs to update energy assurance plans and a new effort to support state and multi-state electricity reliability. The Request also includes $52 million for R&D to strengthen energy infrastructure against cyber threats.

  • $20 million for the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, $4 million above the FY 2015 Enacted level, to support DOE’s partnership with the Department of the Interior to address the need for clean, sustainable energy systems on Indian lands, and $11 million for a new Tribal Indian Energy Loan Guarantee Program.

The FY 2016 Budget requests $325 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), $45 million above the FY 2015 Enacted level, to fund additional early-stage innovative programs as well as to exploit the technological opportunities developed in previous ARPA-E programs, leading to transformational energy technologies.

The Request also supports DOE’s continued oversight of more than $34 billion in loans, loan guarantees, and conditional commitments, as well as its administration of more than $40 billion in remaining loan and loan guarantee authority to finance projects in the areas of advanced nuclear energy, renewable energy and efficient energy, advanced fossil energy, and advanced technology vehicles manufacturing.

Also within the $10.7 billion, the FY 2016 Budget Request provides $5.34 billion for Science, $272 million above the FY 2015 Enacted level, to continue to lead basic research in the physical sciences and develop and operate cutting-edge scientific user facilities while strengthening the connection between advances in fundamental science and technology innovation. The Science Budget Request includes:

  • $1.85 billion for basic energy sciences, $116 million above the FY 2015 Enacted level, to provide the foundations for new energy technologies, to mitigate the environmental impacts of energy use, and to support DOE missions in energy, environment, and national security by understanding, predicting, and ultimately controlling matter and energy, including continued support for Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) and world-class user facilities.

  • $788 million for high energy physics, $22 million above the FY 2015 Enacted level, to understand how the universe works at its most fundamental level by discovering the most elementary constituents of matter and energy, probing the interactions among them, and exploring the basic nature of space and time. The Request supports activities and projects based on the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel (HEPAP) May 2014 strategic plan, including design support for a reconfigured international Long Baseline Neutrino Facility hosted at Fermilab.

  • $612 million for biological and environmental research, $20 million above the FY 2015 Enacted level, to support fundamental research and scientific user facilities to achieve a predictive understanding of complex biological, climatic, and environmental systems for a secure and sustainable energy future, including continued funding for three Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs).

  • $625 million, $29 million above the FY 2015 Enacted level, for nuclear physics research aiming to discover, explore, and understand nuclear matter in a variety of different forms, including continued construction of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB).

  • $621 million, $80 million above the FY 2015 Enacted level, for advanced scientific computing research in advanced computation, applied mathematics, computer science and networking, as well as development and operation of high- performance computing facilities. Funding is included to accelerate development of capable exascale computing systems with a thousand-fold improvement in performance over current high-performance computers.

  • $420 million for fusion energy sciences, $48 million below the FY 2015 Enacted level, to understand the behavior of matter at high temperatures and densities and to develop fusion as a future energy source, including funding for the U.S. contribution to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project.

Sustainable transportation. Sustainable transportation funding requests include:

  • Vehicle technologies. The FY 2016 Request supports a number of aggressive vehicle technology goals:

    • battery energy storage, electric drive research and development (R&D). and advanced power electronics initiatives in support of the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge;
    • improvements in lightweight materials performance;
    • more efficient combustion engine technologies;
    • a new SuperTruck II initiative to achieve improved freight hauling efficiency goals; and
    • alternative fuel vehicle community partner projects, which are new competitively-awarded projects to build strategically-placed, high-impact, community-scale demonstrations of alternative fuel vehicles.

    Major funding changes are the result of enhanced support for these activities, in particular increased investment in vehicle electrification and grid infrastructure, SuperTruck II, natural gas storage, magnesium sheet, co-optimization of fuels and engines, and partnerships to build high-impact community-scale demonstrations of alternative fuel vehicles.

  • Bioenergy Technologies. The FY 2016 Request emphasizes development of innovative processes to convert cellulosic and algal-based feedstocks to bio-based gasoline, jet, and diesel fuels at a cost of $3.00 per gallon gasoline equivalent (gge). In collaboration with the US Departments of Navy and Agriculture, the program will demonstrate commercial-scale biorefineries to produce military-specification fuels. Additionally, the Request will support R&D to advance new technologies from the lab bench to the commercial market.

  • Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies. The FY 2016 Request supports the goal to reduce the cost and increase the durability of transportation fuel cell systems, with a targeted cost of $40/kW and durability of 5,000 hours, equivalent to 150,000 miles, by 2020. In addition, the program is working to reduce the cost of hydrogen from renewable resources to less than $4.00/gge—dispensed and untaxed – —by 2020.

    In FY 2016, Fuel Cell R&D will focus on stack component R&D, stack and component operation and performance, systems and system integration, balance of plant components, testing, technical analysis, and high-throughput combinatorial approaches. Hydrogen Fuel R&D will focus on materials and process development to enable hydrogen production from diverse renewable resources. Funding will also provide resources to rapidly advance the development of quality control tools for the manufacturing of fuel cell components and systems.


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