Department of Energy's year-end list of accomplishments

The Department of Energy is circulating a list of some of the things it did this year. "Over the past year, the Department of Energy accelerated the drive toward our clean energy economic and security goals, creating tens of thousands of jobs and helping the country to lead the way in science and innovation," DOE said in its "Year-End Update."

Here is DOE's list:

Recovery Act

The Department of Energy was allocated $32.7 billion in grant authority under the Recovery Act. By September 30 of this year, we had obligated 100% of that funding. With this funding, we have made a substantial down payment on a clean energy future.

Pre-Recovery Act, the U.S. produced just 2% of the world’s batteries for advanced vehicles, but due to Recovery Act investments, the U.S. will have the capacity to produce 20% of these batteries by 2012 and up to 40% by 2015 - that’s a big jump in just five years.Thirty new plants for manufacturing advanced batteries or other electric vehicle components are opening with the help of Recovery Act grants. Before the Recovery Act, high battery costs meant a car with a 100 mile range would need a battery that cost $33,000. But because of the higher-volume domestic manufacturing the Recovery Act is spurring, the cost of such a battery could come down to $16,000 by the end of 2013 and $10,000 by the end of 2015, dramatically driving down the cost of an electric vehicle and greatly expanding the domestic market.

 

Prior to the Recovery Act, there were less than 500 electric vehicle charging locations in the U.S., but as a result of Recovery Act investments, there will be over 20,000 by 2012. Under the Recovery Act, the Department is investing $591 million to support 19 integrated biorefinery projects at the R&D, pilot, demonstration, and commercial scales.
Families and businesses are now saving money on their utility bills and reducing their energy use as a result of our weatherization program that has provided energy efficiency upgrades to more than 250,000 homes. Twenty-five communities received up to $452 million for energy efficiency building retrofits. The models created through the Better Buildings program are expected to save households and businesses about a $100 million annually in utility bills, while leveraging private sector resources, to create what funding recipients estimate at about 30,000 jobs across the country during the next three years.


The Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy program (ARPA-E) was launched, supporting 121 potentially game-changing projects across the country, including one that is developing an electric vehicle battery with a 500 mile range.
The Department invested $4 billion in carbon capture and storage research, demonstration and deployment projects matched by $7 billion in private commitments - the largest such investment in the world. With Recovery Act funds, DOE’s Environmental Management program has supported more than 10,500 jobs, and has achieved a more than 20% reduction in our cleanup footprint across seventeen sites.

Energy Innovation Hubs

As part of a broad effort to achieve breakthrough innovations in energy production, the Department awarded up to $122 million over five years to a multidisciplinary team of top scientists to establish an Energy Innovation Hub aimed at developing revolutionary methods to generate fuels directly from sunlight. It selected a team led by The Pennsylvania State University to receive up to $122 million over the next five years to establish an Energy Innovation Hub focused on developing technologies to make buildings more energy efficient. It awarded a team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) up to $122 million over five years to establish and operate a new Nuclear Energy Modeling and Simulation Energy Innovation Hub. The Hub, which includes partners from universities, industry and other national labs, will use advanced capabilities of the world's most powerful computers to make significant leaps forward in nuclear reactor design and engineering.


Energy Efficiency Standards

DOE has dramatically ramped up enforcement of energy efficiency appliance standards with nearly 70 different non-compliant products already removed from the market. It also finalized new efficiency standards for more than twenty household and commercial products, which will cumulatively save consumers between $250 billion and $300 billion through 2030.


Loan Programs

The Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office has committed support for 21 clean energy projects, twelve of which have closed, totaling nearly $25 billion in loan guarantees and nearly $40 billion in total project costs. The 21 projects create or save just over 57,000 jobs across 19 states, including Indiana, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Minnesota, Massachusetts, New York and Georgia, to name a few. The Loan Programs Office’s portfolio of projects include a variety of clean energy sectors, including solar, wind, nuclear, geothermal, energy efficiency, energy storage and transmission.

DOE supported the first…

Nuclear power plant in the last three decades. (Vogtle)
Solar manufacturing facility that produces state-of-the-art Cd-Te Thin Film PV solar modules through an innovative process not yet used commercially worldwide. (Abound)
Flywheel energy storage plant that will balance the power consumption and generation for the electric grid and is the first plant of its kind in the world. (Beacon)
Wheelchair-accessible vehicle that will run on compressed natural gas. (VPG)

DOE supported the largest…

Parabolic trough CSP plant in the world that uses a combination of parabolic trough solar collectors and an innovative six-hour thermal energy storage system that represents the first combination of its kind in the U.S. (Abengoa Solar)
Solar thermal power plant that will nearly double the amount of commercial solar thermal electricity produced in the US today. (BrightSource)


Advanced Technology Vehicles

DOE closed advanced technology vehicles manufacturing loans for the following projects:

$5.9 billion loan for Ford Motor Company
$1.4 billion loan for Nissan North America
$465 million loan for Tesla Motors
$529 million loan to Fisker Automotive
These auto loan projects will save approximately 282 million gallons of petroleum annually – roughly the same as removing almost 500,000 cars from the road. These loans are supporting three of the world’s first electric car factories in Delaware, Tennessee and California.

International

Hosted the first Clean Energy Ministerial meeting, bringing together ministers and stakeholders from more than 20 countries to launch or join new initiatives that will accelerate the world's transition to clean energy technologies.
Announced the first ever US-China Clean Energy Research Center, which will facilitate joint research and development of clean energy technologies by teams of scientists and engineers from both the U.S. and China, as well as serve as a clearinghouse to help researchers in each country. Developed the Department’s first-ever strategic plan concerning rare earth materials used in energy components, products and processes.

 

TheHill.com

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