President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 yesterday, and the measure includes $16.8 billion for the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The funding is a nearly tenfold increase for EERE, which received $1.7 billion in fiscal year 2008.
While the bulk of the new EERE funding is supporting direct grants and rebates, $2.5 billion will support EERE's applied research, development, and deployment activities, including $800 million for the Biomass Program, $400 million for the Geothermal Technologies Program, and $50 million for efforts to increase the energy efficiency of information and communications technologies. An additional $400 million will support efforts to add electric technologies to vehicles. And separate from the EERE budget, $400 million will support the establishment of the Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy (ARPA-E), an agency to support innovative energy research, modeled after the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
See the White House announcement and pages 58-60 and 63 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (PDF 13.4 MB), as well as pages 24-26 of the accompanying joint explanatory statement of the conference committee (PDF 10.3 MB). Download Adobe Reader.
The economic stimulus act also stipulates that $5 billion will go towards the Weatherization Assistance Program, and the act also increases the eligible income level under the program, increases the funding assistance level to $6,500 per home, and allows new weatherization assistance for homes that were weatherized as recently as 1994. A complementary measure in the act provides $4 billion to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to rehabilitate and retrofit public housing, including increasing the energy efficiency of units, plus an additional $510 million to do the same for homes maintained by Native American housing programs. HUD will receive an additional $250 million to increase the energy efficiency of HUD-sponsored, low-income housing. See pages 59, 79...