The FY 2010 appropriations for the Department of Energy (DoE) include US$2.24 billion for DoE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE), which represents a 3% increase in funding for EERE in annual appropriations in FY 2009 (excluding special one-time appropriations under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act).
That funding is 3% lower than the amount requested by DoE in its annual budget request, and Congress earmarked US$292m in EERE funds for congressionally directed projects, effectively lowering the EERE budget to US$1.95bn.
Among renewable energy technologies, wind energy will be funded at US$80m for FY 2010, a gain of 45% over last year’s appropriations. The Solar Energy Technologies Program received a funding increase of 29% to US$225m, but most other renewable energy programmes received “more modest increases” in funding, according to an EERE analysis.
The appropriations include US$63m for facility and infrastructure upgrades at DoE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado.
One of the largest budget increases went to EERE's Building Technologies Program, which received US$200m in FY 2010 funding, an increase of 43% over the US$140m received last year. The Federal Energy Management Program, a smaller programme aimed at energy use at federal facilities, will receive US$32m, an increase of 45% over FY 2009.
In addition to the EERE funding, the appropriation act includes US$125m for R&D in technologies for the smart grid, energy storage, and clean energy transmission and reliability. It also provides US$43m for the Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program and US$20m for the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program (which was extended to include the manufacturing of vehicles that carry at least two adult passengers and achieve the equivalent of 75 miles per gallon).
Congress has also appropriated US$40m for the Rural Energy for America Program, administered by the Department of Agriculture (USDA), up from US$5m in FY 2009 but less than the US$68m requested by USDA.
The 2008 Farm Bill provides US$60m in mandatory funding for the programme in FY 2010, bringing the total funding to US$100m which will support US$50m in grants and US$350m in loan guarantees for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects at farms, ranches, and rural small businesses.
President Obama approved the USDA appropriations on 21 October and H.R. 3183 (Energy & Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010 which provides FY 2010 appropriations for the DoE and other agencies) on 28 October.