Trump proposes renewable energy budget cuts

Donald Trump (Photo: The White House)

US President Donald Trump has unveiled the budget request for fiscal year 2019 under which he proposed a $1.3 billion funding cut to the country’s office of energy efficiency and renewable energy.

In the FY 2019 budget request, Trump has put forward a plan to appropriate $30.6 billion to support the activities of the country’s Department of Energy (DOE).

Out of that, $696 million has been proposed for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which is $1.3 billion below the budget enacted in 2017.

The funding is to support the early stage R&D on energy technologies, including new approaches to energy storage beyond current battery technologies, it is stated in the budget proposal.

Trump has also made a proposal to end the loans programs, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy – established with a goal to advance high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment.

In contrast, the 2019 budget proposes $502 million to improve the reliability and efficiency of advanced fossil-based power systems, which is $81 million above from last year.

When it comes to the funding for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the government’s body in charge of responsible management of the development of US offshore energy resources, Trump has requested $179.3 million for FY 2019 for renewable energy, and offshore oil and gas exploration and development.

The 2019 budget requests $20.7 million for BOEM’s renewable energy activities. The request supports renewable energy development activities including the siting and construction of offshore wind farms on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), as well as other forms of renewable energy such as wave and current energy.

Foundational to BOEM’s renewable and conventional energy efforts are its Environmental Programs, for which the 2019 budget requests $79.8 million. These funds support scientific research needed to inform policy decisions regarding energy and mineral development on the OCS.

Commenting on the budget proposals, Rick Perry, US Secretary of State for Energy, said: “In order to fulfill the President’s long-term goal of energy dominance we are prioritizing the acceleration of transformative early-stage research and development, relying on our world-class National Labs. This will advance everything from new clean energy technologies to Supercomputing.”

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