Energy Investments: FY2012 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

The budget includes key investments for new Energy Innovation Hubs, next-generation small modular nuclear reactor RD&D and licensing programs, as well as a boost in funding for ARPA-E.

Blue-Hyper-GlobeThe FY2012 Omnibus Appropriations bill, passed through the House and Senate conference committee, provides a small 2.5 percent increase in DOE energy innovation investment-related Offices and programs compared to FY2011. The budget includes key investments for new Energy Innovation Hubs, next-generation small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) RD&D and licensing programs, as well as a boost in funding for ARPA-E. Compared to the roughly $800 million cut to energy innovation investments in FY2011 and the additional cuts sought in the House version of the appropriations bill, the FY2012 budget provides renewed, albeit modest, government support for developing affordable and viable clean energy technologies.

To be clear, the 2012 federal budget still falls short of FY2010’s peak in energy innovation investments made through the Stimulus and represents only 72 percent of what the President requested for next year. It’s vital that more work is done to increase public investments in clean energy innovation, as the government must play an energetic role in supporting the development of next-generation technologies. However, the FY2012 budget does take steps to stabilize, and in some cases boost, high-impact clean energy investments.

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Source: Matthew Stepp | Innovation Policy Blog