Obama’s FY 2017 budget: $7.7 billion for clean energy R&D

US President Barack Obama’s final budget proposal for fiscal year 2017 provides $7.7 billion for fundamental and transformative clean energy R&D.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said the President’s FY 2017 budget reaffirms Obama’s commitment to Mission Innovation, an agreement made by the United States and 19 other countries to double clean energy R&D over five years, as the request puts forward $5.85 billion in discretionary funding for clean energy R&D at Department of Energy, which represents a 21% increase from FY 2016.

The US government will seek to double the $6.4 billion that Congress provided in FY 2016 for clean energy R&D to $12.8 billion in FY 2021, DoE’s press release reads.

Moniz said: “The President’s budget request would accelerate American energy innovation, increase our energy and national security, and expand our commitment to science and research.”

To continue a diverse suite of sustained investment in development of renewable generation technologies, sustainable transportation technologies, and manufacturing technologies, the 2017 budget has included the funding for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in the amount of $2.89 billion.

This represents an increase of $829 million from FY 2016, with $621 million reserved for renewable energy generation technologies.

Also, FY 2017 budget includes a request of $175.1 million to fund the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) mission to safely and responsibly manage oil and gas development, renewable energy, and mineral resources on the US Outer Continental Shelf.

Furthermore, the 2017 budget requests $8.4 million for the Office of Technology Transitions to help get technologies out of National Laboratories and to the market.

To complement a national R&D effort, the budget proposes new ‘Regional Clean Energy Innovation Partnerships’, creating up to 10 centers that will engage universities, industries, investors, labs and others to work toward technology-neutral clean energy breakthroughs that support regional needs.

The budget also proposes the creation of the ARPA-E Trust, which creates the needed funding stream to allow ARPA-E to expand its scope to address larger scale, more complex energy challenges than can be currently supported under its already successful program. The proposed trust would provide $150 million in FY 2017 and a total of $1.85 billion over five years to ARPA-E.

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