May 24 (Renewables Now) - The Trump administration unveiled on Tuesday a USD-28-billion (EUR 25bn) fiscal year 2018 budget request for the Department of Energy (DOE) that envisages solid cuts in the renewables field.
The budget request provides USD 2.2 billion for energy and related programmes, which is a USD-2.4-billion reduction from the FY 2016 enacted level.
Previous reports warning of a 69% cut in the budget for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) are now confirmed, as the administration has requested just USD 636 million for EERE, down from the USD 2.07 billion in each of 2016 and 2017.
The mission of “enabling renewable power generation technologies to directly compete with other electricity sources without subsidies” will receive just USD 134.3 million, down from USD 477.1 million in 2017. Just USD 159.5 million is allocated for energy efficiency, as compared to USD 719.6 million.
The FY 2018 budget request provides USD 13.9 billion for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), up by USD 1.4 billion from the FY 2016 enacted level. This includes USD 10.2 billion for Weapons Activities, also USD 1.4 billion above the FY 2016 enacted level. “[The budget] reflects the importance of strengthening our nuclear capabilities, and places an emphasis on early stage energy technology research and development,” said US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.
In turn, former energy secretary Ernest Moniz blasted the budget request, saying that the proposal is a “retreat of US leadership on energy innovation/security and environmental protection”. He notes that the request will put the country behind China and Europe when it comes to the global clean energy market.
“This Administration continues to express scepticism about climate change in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence, but there’s no going back: we are heading to a low-carbon future,” he added.
The proposal for the Department of Interior budget includes USD 171 million for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), of which some USD 21.7 million is set aside for renewable energy.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.895)