Feb 22, 2009

Energy and the Bailout

I had the opportunity to spend part of my wekend reading the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (e.g. "The Bailout") that was recently passed to see what the Obama administration had in store for energy programs. Here is a very brief summary of what's included in the Act:

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
$16,800,000,000 including:

  • $3,200,000,000 for energy efficiency and conservation block grants
  • $5,000,000,000 for weatherization assistance
  • $3,100,000,000 for state energy programs
  • $2,000,000,000 for grants for manufacture of advanced batteries and components

Electricity Deliverability and Energy Reliability
$4,500,000,000 for expenses necessary for electricity deliverability and energy reliability activities to modernize the grid, including:

  • $100,000,000 for worker training
  • $80,000,000to conduct a resource assessment and analysis of future demand transmission requirements

Fossil Energy Research and Development
$3,400,000,000 for fossil energy research and development

Non-Defense Environmental Cleanup
$483,000,000 for non-defense environmental cleanup

Uranium Enrichment Decontamination and Decommissioning Fund
$390,000,000 for uranium decontamination

$1,600,000,000 for “science” (seriously - that's all it says)

Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy
$400,000,000 for advance research projects agency – energy

Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program
$6,000,000,000 to pay the costs of guarantees, including:

  • $25,000,000 for administrative expense
  • $10,000,000 for Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program

Office of Inspector General
$15,000,000 for expenses to carry out the provisions of the Inspector General Act of 1978 (presumably to help adminiser all of this)

Defense Environmental Cleanup
$5,127,000,000 for Defense environmental cleanup

Western Area Power Administration Construction, Rehabilitation and Maintenance
$10,000,000 for WAPA functions including conservation and renewable resource programs

Temporary Program for Rapid Development of Renewable Energy and Electric Power Transmission Projects
Secretary of Energy may make loan guarantees for the following categories of projects that commence construction not later than September 30, 2011:

  • Renewable energy systems including incremental hydropower that generate electricity and thermal energy, and facilities that manufacture related components
  • Electric power transmission systems, including upgrading and reconducting projects
  • Leading edge biofuel project that will use technologies performing at the pilot or demonstration scale that will likely become commercial technologies that substantially reduce green-house gas emissions for transportation fuels

I think it is safe to say this is going to stimulate electric transmission reliability and research into batteries and alternative fuels. I think for this to truly be effective for the long term (both for the economy and for energy/environmental sustainability), these programs are going to have to produce commercially viable solutions and systems with broad applications. I was pleased to see that the Act specified these types of criteria when providing guidance on loan guarantees.


  1. There could be no better investment in America than to invest in America becoming energy independent! We need to utilize everything in out power to reduce our dependence on foreign oil including using our own natural resources.Create cheap clean energy, new badly needed green jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.The high cost of fuel this past year seriously damaged our economy and society. The cost of fuel effects every facet of consumer goods from production to shipping costs. After a brief reprieve gas is inching back up.OPEC will continue to cut production until they achieve their desired 80-100. per barrel.If all gasoline cars, trucks, and SUV's instead had plug-in electric drive trainsthe amount of electricity needed to replace gasoline is about equal to the estimated wind energy potential of the state of North Dakota.There is a really good new book out by Jeff Wilson called The Manhattan Project of 2009 Energy Independence Now. http://www.themanhattanprojectof2009.com

  2. its interesting to see how much is spent on decontamination and decommissioning processes.. and how much it can share in our economy. but thanks anyway. i learned a lot from your posting.