Cover Image
close this bookSustainable Energy News - No. 14 September 1996 (INFORSE, 1996)
close this folderNorth America
View the documentAlert A New US National Outlook? US Renewable Energy Program Ends in 19997
View the documentBiomass-Fired Gas Turbine, USA

Alert A New US National Outlook? US Renewable Energy Program Ends in 19997

Combining the 23% cut in 1996 with the House Appropriations Committee recommended 20% cut for 1997 would reduce the Federal Renewable Energy Program to about half (in real terms) its 1995 capability. If continued, this downsizing trend would bring the Programm to an end in 1999.

A Presidential veto is possible and efforts are underway in both chambers to raise the 1997 Appropriations Committees' marks in floor action. Floor action to reduce spending further is also possible.

The Federal Renewable Energy Program, budget of the Department of Energy (DOE), includes R&D funding, tax credits, and a regulatory framework ensuring utility purchases of electricity from independent renewable power producers.

The spending history for DOE renewable energy R&D can be viewed within the context of DOE spending for the three other energy R&D programs. See in Table 2.


The passage of the Energy Policy Act (EPACT, P.L. 102 486) and a priority commitment to renewables by the Clinton Administration raised the spending levels for 1994 and 1995.


The Administration's 1996 DOE budget request reflected this priority by seeking $372 M, a $28 M increase, primarily for export promotion and pollution prevention. Stressing budget deficit concerns, the 104th Congress rejected this bid. The 1996 appropriation of $254 million is about $77 M lower than the 1995 mark.


· DOE Budget Request is 327 M$,

$73 more than the 1996 budget. It includes increases of $27 M for biofuels, $25 M for photovoltaics, and $18 M for wind

· The House Appropiations Committee recommends $202 M.

It would cut wind-energy spending by $26 M and photovoltaics by $6 M, while terminating deployment and in-house energy management.

· The Senate Appropiation Committee recommends $215 M.

Relative to the House mark it increases wind-energy funding by $9 M, but it would also terminate the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).and it cuts hydrogen by KM.

More information:

The report by Fred J. Sissine, Science Policy Research Division Congression at Research Service is available at http://www. crest. org/pub/policy-and-econ/pending-l egislation/crs2 txt. Updated July 19, 1996.