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President’s 2017 Budget Proposal for DOE Supports Energy Innovation, National Security, Nuclear Management Responsibilities

February 9, 2016 - 2:30pm


Secretary Moniz briefs the media about the Energy Department's 2017 Budget Request to Congress. | Energy Department video

Editors Note:

For full FY17 budget request materials, click here.

For the Department's FY17 budget request fact sheet, click here.

For the White House's Mission Innovation fact sheet, click here.

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama’s final budget proposal for the Department of Energy includes a significant increase in clean energy R&D needed to drive economic growth, ensure energy security and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. The President’s budget proposal includes continued investments in DOE’s core missions of scientific research, national and energy security, and cleaning up the environmental legacy of the Cold War.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz today said the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget reaffirms President 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. The request puts forward $5.85 billion in discretionary funding for clean energy R&D at DOE, a 21 percent increase from FY 2016, including increases for DOE’s innovation incubator ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy) and the creation of new regional partnerships that will drive breakthroughs at research universities, labs, and companies across America.

The budget proposal demonstrates the administration’s commitment to all sources of clean energy and includes increased investments across renewable sources, advanced transportation, nuclear energy, carbon capture and storage, and advanced manufacturing.

“The President’s budget request would accelerate American energy innovation, increase our energy and national security, and expand our commitment to science and research,” said Secretary Moniz. “It also reflects DOE’s continuing commitment to maintain our nuclear deterrent, secure vulnerable nuclear material, and clean up our Cold War legacy.”

Overall, the FY 2017 budget request for DOE represents a 10 percent increase above the FY 2016 enacted level, reflecting the importance of DOE’s work enabling the transition to a low-carbon secure energy future, and leading America’s research for discovery and innovation. It also continues important work to protect public health and safety through the Department’s commitment to cleaning up past nuclear weapons production while also maintaining a safe, secure, and effective nuclear weapons stockpile and advancing the President’s commitment to controlling and eliminating nuclear materials worldwide.

As part of the United States’ commitment to Mission Innovation, the U.S. 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. The FY 2017 budget makes good on this commitment by proposing $7.7 billion in discretionary funding for clean energy R&D across 12 agencies, an increase of about 20 percent. DOE’s proposed FY 2017 clean energy R&D budget of $5.85 billion represents 76 percent of Mission Innovation investments.

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, increasing ARPA-E’s total budget by 70 percent from $291 million to $500 million.

To complement a national R&D effort, the budget also 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 request also includes $12.9 billion for the nuclear security program managed by the National Nuclear Security Administration, $357 million over the 2016 enacted level, that will support implementation and monitoring of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran to prevent that country from building a nuclear weapon, along with DOE’s core activities of maintaining a safe and secure nuclear deterrent and preventing the proliferation of nuclear material.

Other highlights of the FY 2017 budget include:

  • $6.1 billion for Environmental Management to address the obligation to clean up the nuclear legacy of the Cold War, including $271 million to maintain critical progress toward returning the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant to normal operations, with the goal of restarting limited operations in 2016.
  • $5.67 billion for Science 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.
  • $2.89 billion, an increase of 40 percent, for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to continue a diverse suite of sustained investment in development of renewable generation technologies, sustainable transportation technologies, and manufacturing technologies; and in efforts to enhance energy efficiency in our homes, buildings and industries. 
  • $1.3 billion for 21st Century Clean Transportation to expand investment in transportation technologies of the future, establish regional fueling infrastructure to support the deployment of low-carbon fuels, and accelerate the transition to a cleaner vehicle fleet.
  • $994 million for Nuclear Energy to support vital ongoing R&D in advanced reactor technology as part of a low-carbon future.
  • $600 million for DOE’s Fossil Energy program to advance carbon capture and storage and natural gas technologies, and $257 million for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to increase the system’s durability and reliability and begin addressing the backlog of deferred maintenance.
  • $262 million 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.
  • $8.4 million for the Office of Technology Transitions to help get technologies out of National Laboratories and to the market.