- March 24, 2023
- Posted by: LSN Partners
- Categories: Federal, Government Affairs
By: LSN Partners on March 24, 2023
Since the start of the Administration, President Biden has been committed to positioning the United States as the global leader in clean energy innovation. Through a series of Executive Orders and impactful legislation, the Administration is driving innovation in America’s clean energy sector. These steps aim to achieve a carbon pollution-free electricity sector by 2035 and net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050.
The Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 President’s Budget Request (PBR) re-enforces the Biden Administration’s clean energy priorities. The PBR includes:
- Funding requests to support vehicle fleet electrifications
- Grants to support clean energy projects
- Investments in climate-resilience infrastructure – although Congress will decide final funding levels through the federal appropriations process
Most of the requested funds would go to the following federal agencies: the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Department of Transportation (DOT).
USDA requested $25 million to procure zero-emission passenger vehicles and support charging infrastructure. In addition, the USDA request includes over $400 million for farm labor housing loans and other administrative costs. This funding will be targeted to projects that improve energy or water efficiency and implement “green features,” including clean energy generation or building electrification.
The EPA’s budget request includes over $150 million for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant Program. This program provides the following:
- Funding to reduce emissions in existing diesel engines through engine replacements, including zero-emission replacements, retrofits, and rebuilds
- Switching to cleaner fuels
- Idling reduction
- Other emission reduction strategies
At the Department of Defense, the FY2024 budget request would use almost $6 billion to increase the resilience of military bases and critical capabilities against threats like extreme weather and cyber-attacks.
Specifically, the DOD’s request includes $3.7 billion for Installation Resilience and Adaptation. This funding would go toward installing cyber-secure microgrids with backup power, battery storage, and electrical transmission and distribution improvements.
Additionally, the DOD’s budget request includes $1.3 billion for research & development to accelerate the growth of energy-efficient platforms such as hybrid tactical vehicles – to increase range and payloads.
The President’s budget request proposes a nearly 9% increase for DOE. These funds aim to deploy clean energy resources and speed up energy infrastructure permitting. Specifically, the Office of Electricity’s (OE) Transmission Reliability and Resilience (TRR) program and the Resilient Distribution Systems (RDS) program request $42.5 million and $47.3 million, respectively. The TRR program is focused on ensuring the electric grid’s reliability through research and monitoring. In contrast, the RDS program develops transformative technologies and tools that enable the industry to keep pace with emerging technologies and changing conditions.
Additionally, the well-known DOE Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) requests $266 million for The Battery Electrification Technologies Program and $117 million for the Technology Integration & Deployment Program. The VTO supports research, development, and deployment of efficient and sustainable technologies that improve energy efficiency and fuel economy.
The DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) requests $241.5 million for the Advanced Manufacturing and Materials Technologies program. The EERE accelerates research, development, demonstration, and deployment of clean energy technologies.
Regarding the Department of Transportation, the President’s budget proposes to invest $70 billion in the nation’s highways, roads, and bridges; $40 billion in upgrading and expanding rail and public transit; and $25 billion in airports.
Specifically, the Office of the Secretary of Transportation for Electric Vehicle Fleet requests $26 million, and the National Surface Transportation and Innovative Finance Bureau (NTSTIF) requests $10.5 million.
Additionally, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration – which will implement targeted initiatives in electrification, energy and water efficiency, and vehicle fleet management – requests over $220 million.
The FY2024 PBR significantly increases clean energy funding over last year’s enacted totals. However, with Republicans in control of the House of Representatives, it’s unlikely that the FY2024 enacted levels will reflect the President’s initial requests. These negotiations will take place over the coming months and include hearings with agency leaders to provide more details on these requests and Capitol Hill’s positions.