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Highlights from the President's FY17 Department of Energy Budget Request

February 11, 2016

Enacted FY16 funding is used for comparisons unless otherwise noted.
In FY17, the president is $32.5 billion (9.8 percent increase) for the Department of Energy (DOE), with $12.9 billion (27.7 percent increase) to be used to support science, energy and related programming. Of the $7.7 billion in FY17 proposed across 12 government agencies for Mission Innovation investments, $5.9 billion, or 76 percent, would go to DOE. Examples of DOE Mission Innovation projects that would receive funding under the proposed budget include:

  • $215 million for crosscutting innovation initiatives, including $110 million for Regional Energy Innovation Partnerships that support regionally focused clean energy R&D initiatives, and activities that develop energy innovation ecosystems;
  • $261 million for advanced clean energy manufacturing R&D projects and facilities, including funding for two new National Network for Manufacturing Innovation Institutes (NNMI);
  • $880 million to support sustainable transportation technologies that increase the affordability and convenience of advanced vehicles and domestic renewable fuels;
  • $500 million to increase the use and reduce the costs of clean renewable power from solar, wind, water, and geothermal sources;
  • $1.8 billion in basic clean energy research to support fundamental research on energy production, conversion, storage, and use;
  • $804 million for programs and infrastructure supporting advanced nuclear energy technologies;
  • $177 million to support grid modernization, resiliency, and integration of clean energy into the grid; and,
  • $564 million in research focused predominantly on development and deployment of carbon capture and storage technologies.

The DOE Office of Science (SC), the largest federal sponsor of basic research in the physical sciences, would receive $5.7 billion (6.1 percent increase) in the proposed budget. That total includes $100 million in new mandatory funding for University Grants, made available through a competitive, merit-based review of proposals in key mission areas such as advanced scientific computing research, basic energy sciences, biological and environmental research, fusion energy sciences, high energy physics, and Nuclear Physics. Notable programs that would receive funding from the Office of Science in the proposed budget include:

  • $1.9 billion (4.7 percent increase) for Basic Energy Services, providing the foundation for new energy technologies and the support for five new Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs), expanded efforts around materials research and subsurface science;
  • $818 million (2.9 percent increase) for High Energy Physics, implementing the activities and projects based on the May 2014 High Energy Physics Advisory Panel Strategic Plan;
  • $661.9 million (8.7 percent increase) for Biological and Environmental Research to gain a better understanding of complex biological, climatic and environmental systems, including continued funding for three Bioenergy Research Centers and $10 million for a new initiative focused on microbiome research;
  • $635.7 million (3 percent increase) for research on Nuclear Physics, including support for the continued construction of the Facilitate for Rare Isotope Beams;
  • $663.2 million (6.8 percent increase) for Advanced Scientific Computing Research, including $190 million across three Office of Science programs to accelerate the development of capable exascale computing systems in support of the president’s National Strategic Computing Initiative, and $9 million for the president’s BRAIN Initiative in close coordination with the National Institutes of Health; and,
  • $398.2 million (9.1 percent decrease) for Fusion Energy Sciences to understand the behavior of matter at high temperatures and densities, including funding for the U.S. contribution to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) would receive $500 million (71.8 percent increase) under the proposed FY17 budget. ARPA-E catalyzes transformational energy technologies to enhance the United States’ economic, environmental, and energy security. Of this amount, $350 million (20.3 percent increase) would go to the Mission Innovation pledge. The total also includes $150 million in mandatory funding which would go towards the ARPA-E proposal seeking $1.9 billion in mandatory funding over five years to reliably increase the program’s transformational clean energy technology R&D.

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) would receive $4.2 billion (104.6 percent increase) under the proposed budget, working with innovators and businesses to research, develop, demonstrate, and support the deployment (RDD&D) of cutting-edge clean technologies around sustainable transportation, renewable power, and energy efficiency. Of this amount, $1.3 billion in mandatory funding would be used for 21st Century Clean Transportation Plan investments, including $500 million in mandatory funding to support the scale up of clean transportation R&D through initiatives that accelerate cutting the costs of battery technologies, advance the next generation of low carbon biofuels, and investigate the energy implications of connected vehicles.

The remaining $2.9 billion (39.8 percent increase) in discretionary funding would go toward EERE programs such as:

  • $852.9 million (34.1 percent increase) for sustainable transportation, including $486.5 (51.1 percent increase) for vehicle technologies, $278.9 million (24 percent increase) for bioenergy technologies, and $105.5 million (4.5 percent increase) for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.
  • $620.6 million (29.8 percent increase) for renewable energy, including $285.1 million (18 percent increase) for solar energy, $156 million (63.4 percent increase) for wind energy, $80 million (14 percent increase) for water power, and $99.5 million (40.1 percent increase) for geothermal technologies;
  • $919 million (27.5 percent increase) for energy efficiency, including $261 million (14.2 percent increase) for advanced manufacturing, $43 million (59.3 percent increase) for the Federal Energy Management Program, $289 million (44.1 percent increase) for building technologies, and $326 million (23 percent increase) for weatherization and intergovernmental programs;

The budget would provide $10 million (41.2 percent decrease) for the Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee program, which encourages early commercial use of new or significantly improved technologies in energy projects around advanced fossil energy, renewable energy and efficient energy, and advanced nuclear energy.

Fossil Energy Research and Development (FER&D) would receive $600 million (5.1 percent decrease) under the proposed budget to advance technologies related to the reliable, efficient, affordable, and environmentally sound use of fossil fuels. Of this amount, $240 million would come from deobligated Clean Coal Power Initiative projects that have not yet reached financial closure with the plan of repurposing these funds to support the FY17 R&D portfolio.  Areas of emphasis for FER&D include:

  • $170.3 million (30 percent increase) for carbon capture research;
  • $90.9 million (14.3 percent decrease) on carbon storage research;
  • $37.8 million (46.9 percent decrease) on advanced energy systems research;
  • $59.4 million (17.1 percent increase) on crosscutting research and analysis; and,
  • $76.1 million (17.3 percent decrease) for research and operations at the National Energy Technology Laboratory.


fy17budget, federal budget