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DOE Budget Authority for Energy Research, Development, and Demonstration Database

Kelly Sims Gallagher and Laura Diaz Anadon
April 2013
Published by Energy Technology Innovation Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, April 16, 2013.


CIERP Professor Kelly Sims Gallagher and Laura Diaz Anadon of the Harvard Kennedy School have tracked the U.S. energy RD&D budgets for the past several years, building upon earlier work by Paul de Sa, Ambuj Sagar, and John Holdren. Gallagher and Diaz Anadon have updated the data to include the Obama Administration’s budget request for FY14.

Download the database here.

Author Commentary on the Department of Energy FY14 Budget

In our annual review of the budget request for fiscal year 2014 for the Department of Energy’s energy research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) programs we observe that it is significantly higher than the FY12 budget, a 33% increase overall, from $3.25 billion to $4.30 billion (current dollars), not including basic energy sciences.[1]  The increase in basic energy sciences is also large compared with FY2012, a 17% increase for a total of $1.74 billion. We observe a huge decline in spending on deployment programs since the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.  

Cumulatively speaking, the Department of Energy has spent 28% of its innovation budget on fossil fuels, 27% on nuclear fission and fusion, 20% on energy efficiency, and 19% on renewable energy since FY1985, including the stimulus funds and the FY14 request.

In efficiency, the FY 2014 RD&D request is $1.35 billion, 86% higher than the appropriation in FY12, largely due to a significant increase in vehicles, but also in buildings and industry (now called advanced manufacturing).  The request for vehicle technologies is $575 million, compared with the FY2012 appropriation of $321 million.  These overall efficiency numbers do not include a new request of $200 million for a “Race to the Top” program for energy efficiency grants to states based on performance, which we include in deployment below. 

In renewables, the RD&D request is 31% larger than the FY 2012 appropriation, with a 62% increase in geothermal, a 57% increase in wind energy, a 45% increase in bioenergy, and a 25% increase in solar.  Program management for efficiency and renewables is approximately 9% in the FY14 request, according to our calculations.

            In nuclear fission, there is a 17% decrease from $504 million appropriated in FY12 to $420 million in the FY14 request.  Program direction for nuclear RD&D is 12% in the FY14 request, also according to our calculations detailed in the accompanying spreadsheet. 

In fossil energy, the overall increase between the FY12 appropriations and the FY14 request is 26%, mainly due to a large decrease in prior year balances. The FY14 request for carbon capture is similar to the level of funds appropriated in FY12, and the funding requested for coal R&D (which includes advanced energy systems, cross-cutting research, and NETL coal R&D) would go down from $180 million to $104 million.  Notably, 28% of the fossil energy RD&D budget is devoted to program direction in the FY14 request. 

RD&D funding for hydrogen is basically constant at slightly over $100 million.  The $169 million FY14 request for electricity delivery and energy reliability represents a 24% increase over the FY12 appropriations.

During Secretary Steven Chu’s tenure, two major institutional innovations occurred: the creation of ARPA-E and the Energy Innovation Hubs.  ARPA-E’s increase is 38% from $275 million in FY12 to $379 million in the FY14 request.  There are now five Hubs, each with a five-year appropriation: Fuels from Sunlight, Batteries and Energy Storage, Critical Materials (appropriations in FY12), Buildings (appropriations in FY11), and Modeling and Simulations for Nuclear Reactors (appropriations in FY10).

On deployment programs, a drastic decline in funding has occurred during the past five years from $14.2 billion in the FY09 American Reinvestment and Recovery Act to $480 million in the FY14 request, which includes the proposed Race to the Top and weatherization programs (the request is a tripling from FY12).  It appears that the Administration has abandoned its HomeStar program proposed in FY13.


[1] For FY13, the budget request lists an “annualized” continuing resolution figure.


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For citation: Gallagher, K.S. and L.D. Anadon, "DOE Budget Authority for Energy Research, Development, and Demonstration Database," Energy Technology Innovation Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, April 16, 2013.