This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

November 04, 2009

EERE Funding Up 3 Percent to $2.24 Billion for Fiscal Year 2010

President Obama approved the fiscal year (FY) 2010 appropriations for DOE on October 28, including $2.24 billion for the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The funds represent a modest 3% increase in funding for EERE, which received $2.18 billion in annual appropriations in FY 2009 (not counting special one-time appropriations under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act). The funding is about 3% lower than the amount requested by DOE in its annual budget request, and Congress earmarked more than $292 million in EERE funds for congressionally directed projects, effectively lowering the EERE budget to $1.95 billion. See the full history, texts, and related documents on the appropriations act, H.R. 3183, on the Library of Congress' Thomas Web site, as well as the White House press release on the act's approval.

Among the big winners under the new appropriations act is EERE's Building Technologies Program, which garnered $200 million in FY 2010 funding, a 43% increase above the $140 million received by the program in FY 2009. The Federal Energy Management Program, a much smaller program aimed at energy use at federal facilities, is receiving $32 million in funding, a 45% gain over FY 2009. And among renewable energy technologies, wind energy is funded at $80 million for FY 2010, another 45% gain. The Solar Energy Technologies Program also fared well, with a 29% increase in funding to $225 million for FY 2010. Most other programs received more modest increases in funding. The appropriations also include $63 million for facility and infrastructure upgrades at DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. See pages 102-112 and 143 (PDF pages 106-116 and 147) of the final version of the appropriations bill (PDF 4.1 MB), and for comparison, see the final page of EERE's "Fiscal Year 2010 Budget-in-Brief" (PDF 504 KB). Download Adobe Reader.

In addition to the EERE funding, the appropriation act includes $125 million for the research and development of technologies for the smart grid, energy storage, and clean energy transmission and reliability. It also provides $43 million for the Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program, an amount expected to be repaid with loan fees, and $20 million for the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program. The act also extends the latter loan program to include the manufacturing of vehicles that carry at least two adult passengers and achieve the equivalent of 75 miles per gallon. That will allow loans to go toward the manufacture of vehicles that might not otherwise qualify as light-duty vehicles, including three-wheeled vehicles. The Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program was established by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). See pages 21-22, 31, and 143 (PDF pages 25-26, 35, and 147) of the appropriations bill (PDF 4.1 MB) and pages 23-25 of the EISA (PDF 821 KB).

Congress has also appropriated $40 million for the Rural Energy for America Program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). That's up from only $5 million in FY 2009 but is less than the $68 million that the USDA requested. The 2008 Farm Bill provides $60 million in mandatory funding for the program in FY 2010, bringing the total funding to $100 million. That's expected to support about $50 million in grants and about $350 million in loan guarantees for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects at farms, ranches, and rural small businesses. President Obama approved the USDA appropriations on October 21. See the full history, texts, and related documents on the appropriations act, H.R. 2997, on the Thomas Web site; the White House press release on the act's approval; page 79 of the appropriations bill (PDF 317 KB); and for comparison, pages 8 and 56 of the USDA budget summary for FY 2010 (PDF 1.5 MB).