U.S. Budget Request Includes $302.4 Million For Solar Program

President Barack Obama’s $28.4 billion fiscal year 2011 (FY 2011) budget request includes investments in clean energy and the elimination of subsidies for the oil, coal and gas industries.

Specifically, the president’s FY 2011 budget request includes the following:

  • Lending authority to support approximately $40 billion in loan guarantees for innovative clean energy programs;
  • More than $108 million in new funding to advance and expand research in the areas of wind, solar and geothermal energies;
  • Morethan $217 million in new funding for science research and discovery,including an additional $40 million for the existing Energy FrontierResearch Centers program and $107 million for Energy Innovation Hubs;and
  • $300 million for the Advanced Research Project Agency – Energy.

Indeveloping this budget, several program reductions and terminations areproposed, including eliminating more than $2.7 billion in tax subsidiesfor the oil, coal and gas industries. This step is estimated togenerate more than $38.8 billion in revenue for the federal governmentover the course of the next 10 years.

The budget includes $302.4 million for the solar energy program, a 22% increase from last year’s spending, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association(SEIA). The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Technologies budgetincludes another $7.2 million for solar heating and cooling, also anincrease over last year.

These increases comes at a time whenmost of the government received substantial budget reductions, SEIAnotes. In addition to the solar program, the president has requested a$5 billion expansion the Section 48C manufacturing tax credit that waspassed in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. SEIA expects tosee the expansion of this program pass as part of the Jobs Bill nowunder development.
 
The breakdown of the DOE Solar Energy Program is as follows:

  • $152 million for PV, increased from $128.5 million;
  • $98.2million for concentrating solar power (CSP) – including $50 million fora new demonstration program – increased from $49.7 million; 
  • $30.7 million for systems integration, increased from $23.3 million; and
  • $21.5 million for market transformation, decreased from $23.5 million.

 
TheDOE Building Technologies Program includes $7.3 million for solarheating and cooling. Transmission-related budget requests includecontinued support for renewable generators and reliability, as well asan additional $6.4 million for "permitting, siting and analysis" toeducate states, regional grid operators, federal agencies and helpassist in modernizing the electric grid. The Department of the Interiorbudget includes a total of $73 million investment in renewable energy.

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