The EERE, set to be reduced by half a billion dollars for the 2017 fiscal year, was a key player in making residential solar affordable. Source: Flickr/Tax Credits
The Trump administration plans to make good on threats to cut ‘unnecessary’ regulation pertaining to energy and the environment, with plans to cut 25% of the budget for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).
EERE, a US$2 billion limb of the Department of Energy (DOE), is a central hub for renewable energy research at the federal level, and is the body responsible for making rooftop solar affordable for US citizens. For the fiscal year of 2017, Trump plans to cut the organisation’s budget by US$516 million, according to a White House FY 2017 reductions options document obtained by E&E news.
Whilst the cuts have yet to be cleared by Congress, they remain a reminder that the Trump administration is serious about dismantling much of the climate action and renewable energy initiatives of the previous federal government. The EERE and SunShot Initiative have been under fire since a leaked memo in January indicated that the two bodies would be scrapped altogether.
If approved, the cuts pose a serious threat to domestic research and technological innovation in clean energy. EERE is the central scientific hub for research in alternative energy resources, EV, LED lighting and other drivers of a low-carbon economy and a chief promoter of energy efficiency standards.
In the 2016 fiscal year, the DOE spent more than US$2 billion on energy efficiency and renewable energy, nearly US$1 billion on nuclear energy and more than US$600 million on fossil fuels.
Funding from the EERE was instrumental in NREL achieving a 74% price reduction in solar panels since 2010 prices.
The proposed cuts come as Trump, who bashed wind and solar power for much of his campaign, seeks to boost defence spending by US$54 billion while offsetting that spending with cuts from other government departments.
Jun 15 - Jun 16, 2021
Looking at the drivers and dynamics of utility scale solar in the UK & Ireland over the next five years. This event will consider the immediate challenges as we enter the build phase in both these markets where we could see as much as 4GW deployed in 2021 alone! What developments will continue the growth of 100MW+ sites and what impact will government policy have on the rate of deployment in both markets?Join leading developers and manufacturers shaping the direction of one of Europe’s most active markets and hear from speakers with a history of influencing innovation and change.
Feb 03 - Feb 04, 2021
The business of solar is changing, as the industry scales up, technology, IT and new players to the market will add complexity. This sparks a host of opportunities such as co-location of solar and storage and the rise of unsubsidised solar projects as well as challenges which will question the very business model of European solar asset owners. Solar Finance & Investment Europe is the meeting place for institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, solar, wind and storage funds and large energy buyers to do business.