The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) would receive $696mn under the request, a significant reduction of the approximately $2.4bn ultimately approved in the 2019 budget.
The White House proposed similar cuts in last year’s budget request, including the elimination for ARPAE and the loan program. The latest numbers still need final approval from Congress, which has continued to finance these programs even as the administration has repeatedly asked to slash them.
Still, President Trump’s budget points to his administration’s energy-related priorities. This year the administration highlighted energy and national security along with investments in research and development, especially for new nuclear and fossil technologies, but also for “next-generation” clean.
“We’re going to continue to fund those things within EERE that make sense to us as an administration, as we talked about: basic science that moves the ball forward on things like renewable energy, solar in particular, wind in particular, battery storage, we’re going to continue to fund,” said a senior DOE official on a Monday call with reporters. “But as an administration, the President, the Secretary [and] others have determined that this budget should focus on energy security, as well as national security.”
The administration’s total request for DOE sits at $31.7bn, 11% lower than the 2019 budget Congress settled on. That request includes $2.3bn for early-stage research and development, including a $158mn effort called the Advanced Energy Storage Initiative led by EERE and the Office of Electricity. DOE said the budget was meant to “reprioritize away” from older technologies to focus on “breakthrough technologies.”