Trump's budget proposal slashes DoE's clean energy spending

Donald Trump. Author: Gage Skidmore. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

February 14 (Renewables Now) - The budget proposal of US president Donald Trump for fiscal 2019 calls for slashing spending for energy efficiency and renewable energy programmes at the Department of Energy (DoE) to USD 696 million (EUR 563m).

That is down by a whopping USD 1.3 billion on the enacted 2017 budget.

According to a fact sheet published by DoE on Tuesday, spending on this area would focus on early-stage research and development (R&D) on energy technologies including new approaches to energy storage beyond current battery technologies.

In addition, the proposed budget ends the loan programmes at the Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy (ARPA‑E).

Under the budget request, the overall funding for energy and related programmes is cut by USD 1.9 billion compared to the 2017 budget to USD 2.5 billion as the Trump administration continues to prioritise early-stage R&D that takes place at the national laboratories. The proposed funding for fossil energy R&D is nevertheless increased by USD 81 million to USD 502 million.   

The proposal sets DoE's total budget at USD 30.6 billion. The department listed a number of budget highlights, the leading ones among which are --- ensuring the safety and effectiveness of the US nuclear arsenal (DoE handles nuclear weapons), protecting the energy infrastructure from cyber attacks, and fulfilling Trump's goal of American energy dominance.    

The budget proposal is seen as a political document, not expected to be endorsed by Congress.  

(USD 1 = EUR 0.809)

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Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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