$2.27 billion requested for US renewable energy industry15. February 2012 | Global PV markets, Markets & Trends | By: Becky Stuart
Having released his Fiscal Year 2013 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) budget request to Congress, President Barack Obama has requested US$2.27 billion be set aside from a total of $27.2 billion for the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).
The Obama administration has said it is, among other things, looking to create jobs in clean energy technologies. In terms of solar, it wants to reduce costs by a further 75 percent, so that the need for subsidies will be eliminated by the end of 2019. The goal is to make solar power "affordable for all Americans". To help achieve this, a focus will continue to be placed on the research, development and deployment of clean energy. As such, a total of $310 million is being sought for solar for 2013 under the EERE budget, up from $260 million in 2011 and $289 million in 2012.
Additionally, the administration has said that $60 million should be set aside for the development of energy storage and battery systems; $350 million should be awarded to the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) in its work in supporting early-stage research projects; $120 million should be given to support energy frontier research centers; and $140 million should be provided to five existing energy innovation hubs and an additional new hub, which would focus on grid systems and the tie between transmission and distribution systems.
Unfortunately, nuclear, is also set to receive a large sum of cash. According to a statement released, $770 million has been requested for the nuclear industry, "including $65 million for cost-shared awards to support first-of-a-kind small modular reactors and $60 million for nuclear waste R&D that aligns with the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future."
In presenting the 2013 fiscal budget, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu stated, "The United States is competing in a global race for the clean energy jobs of the future. The choice we face as a nation is simple: do we want the clean energy technologies of tomorrow to be invented in America by American innovators, made by American workers and sold around the world, or do we want to concede those jobs to our competitors? We can and must compete for those jobs. This budget request includes responsible investments in an American economy that is built to last."
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