For 2021 and 2022, and many years prior, a big focus seemed to be on climate change and the fight against it. The Biden administration set in motion new energy efficiency standards for light bulbs that were supposed to take place in 2020. This administration also pushed for a $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill which focuses on energy efficiency and over $500 billion for clean energy and climate programs. Worldwide discussions are also happening centered around the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report and at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in November.
This theme seems continuous for 2023 as the Biden administration pushed forward a $5.8 trillion budget that includes $44.9 billion for “clean energy, electrification and other programs to help cut greenhouse gas emissions and prepare the U.S. for the effects of climate change.”1 The overall goals of the budget are to “reduce energy costs by combatting climate change and growing the clean energy economy.”2
Clean Energy Research Allocations
Included in the budget is “$9.2 billion for clean energy research, development and deployment.”2 There is $35 million allocated to the Funding for Accelerated, Inclusive Research (FAIR) initiative to “support clean energy, climate and related activities at minority-serving institutions and historically black colleges and universities to build capacity in core research capabilities in support of the Office of Science’s mission.”2
Another $3 billion to the Department of Defense (DOD) for research, in addition to installation resilience and advance efficiency improvements to “operational platforms and propulsion systems.”2 The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) was allocated $92 million for “expanded climate competitive research grants.”2 Over $225 million was allocated to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences for research in regards to “understanding the health impacts of climate change.”2
The Department of Energy (DOE) has $3.3 billion in relation to research, development, and demonstration activities within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.”2 The Office of Science for the DOE has “$3 billion [...] for support of climate and clean energy research at the National Laboratories and universities.”2
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was allocated $245 million to “accelerate research and development of next-generation biofuel technologies”2 which will impact the fight against climate change through measures that will “integrate science-based tools into conservation planning in order to measure, monitor, report, and verify carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas reduction, wildlife stewardship, and other environmental services at the farm level.”2
Other organizations included in the budget related to clean energy and research include2 :
- Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization (IWG) to assist with communities affected by the energy transition
- DOE’s Advanced Research and Projects Agency - Energy for innovation gaps around adaptation, mitigation, and resilience to the impacts of climate change
- NASA for research to improve the Nation’s understanding of climate change
- Department of the Interior (DOI) to advance understanding of the impacts of climate change; unlock new opportunities to reduce climate risk through innovative mitigation and adaptation research
- National Science Foundation (NSF) to better understand climate change and its adverse impacts as well as R&D in clean energy and emission mitigation technologies
Following suit of the Infrastructure Bill, electric vehicles were a highlight with $12 billion for clean energy innovation and $3 billion for deployment included in the budget, which details: "quickly scaling-up domestic manufacturing of key climate and clean energy technologies; accelerating the deployment of carbon-free electricity, zero emission vehicles, and low-carbon industrial solutions; and creating good-paying American jobs".2
The Department of Transportation (DOT) is allocated $50 million in “grants to support transit agencies as they plan for the transition of their vehicle fleets to zero emission vehicles”2 in addition to “$745 million for zero emission fleet vehicles and support for charging or fueling infrastructure.”2
Curious about incentives for Electric Vehicles and Chargers? Dive into a data analysis of EV’s and EV Charger Utility Incentives →
Implementation of the Budget
This budget is one of the many steps being taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 50% by 2030, the deadline to reduce these emissions significantly, followed by the 2050 goal for net zero greenhouse gas emissions.
This budget requires Congressional approval to move forward. These results are yet to be determined as this bill focuses on similar items found in the Build Back Better Act, which has not yet passed and is still pending in the Senate.