As part of the Bush administration’s requested $2.9-trillion FY 2008 budget, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) could receive $24.26 billion in spending authority, marking a $700-million increase in funds from FY 2007. Although the lion’s share of the DOE’s budget would go to secure the nation’s nuclear weapon stockpile (a main objective of the DOE), it will continue to make bold investments in the development and advancement of alternative energy sources, thus ensuring America’s energy and economic security.
The FY 2008 DOE budget would fund many of the President’s alternative energy goals. The budget of the President’s Biofuels Initiative, with a goal of making cellulosic ethanol cost-competitive by 2012, would total $179 million, an increase of 19 percent from 2007.
The FY 2008 budget requests $2.7 billion for President Bush’s Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI), a program that works to reduce America’s dependence on foreign sources of energy by promoting the advancement of cleaner sources of electricity production.
“The FY 2008 request supports AEI goals to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy technologies, such as biomass, hydrogen, and solar energy; clean coal technologies through FutureGen; and nuclear energy technologies through the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership,” said a DOE Office of Public Affairs press release.
The DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy would manage a $1.24-billion budget to continue hydrogen technology and fuel cell development ($213 million); vehicle efficiency technology ($176 million); biomass, which includes research on producing cellulosic ethanol from switch grass, wood chips, and corn stalks ($179 million); and a combined $188 million for solar and wind energy research.
The DOE’s Office of Science will further fund the American Competitiveness Initiative, a program introduced by President Bush in his 2006 State of the Union Address, and has requested a $4.4-billion budget to make research investments available to advance and strengthen America’s competitive edge. The DOE Office of Science’s budget includes $75 million for three innovative Bioenergy Research Centers “to accelerate basic research in the development of cellulosic ethanol and other biofuels and make biofuel production cost-effective on a national scale to meet the President’s goals,” according to a press release.
The DOE Office of Fossil Energy has requested $863 million, a 33 percent increase over last year’s request. If approved, clean coal technologies will acquire $427 million, of which $108 million will go to FutureGen, an international collaboration dedicated to producing the world’s first nearly zero-emission coal-fueled power plant. The Clean Coal Power Initiative will receive $73 million further to facilitate their charge of demonstrating an advanced generation of coal-based electric power by 2010. Another $246 million will go to coal research and development programs.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman strongly hopes that Congress will approve the proposed budget for FY 2008.
“Under President Bush’s leadership, this budget builds on our commitment to strengthen our nation’s energy security by diversifying our energy resources and reducing our reliance on foreign sources of energy. Thanks to the investments in this year’s budget, we will be able to meet the Department’s mission for today, as well as have a profound and lasting positive impact on our nation’s future,” said Bodman.