Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The first investments?

The new Administration may already be moving to take control of the various levers of Government, but the reality is that it must work, to a great extent, within the existing state of affairs for some time. So, as it begins work, the dominant piece of legislation that is moving forward is the America Recovery and Reinvestment package that is coming out of the House Appropriations Committee.

In terms of Energy Investment, it is therefore interesting to see where the planned bill intends to make the investment. There is some $550 billion in targeted priority investments. And the sections that might have reference to Energy investments can perhaps be confined to three overall divisions. These primary areas are investments in Clean and Efficient American Energy (a total of $54 billion); Science & Technology ($16 billion) and Infrastructure Construction ($90 billion). But the devil is in the details, so lets burrow down a couple of levels.

With the aim of the program largely being directed at creating new jobs, it is not surprising that when the entrails are examined, that this is largely where the focus is. Thus the Energy budget is broken down into:

Reliable, Efficient Electricity Grid:
$11 billion for R&D, pilot projects, and matching funds to modernize the Electric Grid under the Smart Grid Investment Program including new power lines to transmit clean, renewable energy.

Renewable Energy Loan Guarantees:
$8 billion for loans for renewable energy power generation and transmission projects.

GSA Federal Buildings:
$6.7 billion for renovations and repairs to federal buildings including at least $6 billion focused on increasing energy efficiency and conservation.

Local Government Energy Efficiency Block Grants:
$6.9 billion for state and local governments to invest in more energy efficient and reduced carbon emission projects.

Energy Efficiency Housing Retrofits:
$2.5 billion to upgrade low-income housing to increase energy efficiency, including insulation, windows, and furnaces.

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Research:
$2 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities to foster energy independence, reduce carbon emissions, and cut utility bills.

Advanced Battery Loans and Grants:
$2 billion to manufacturers for the Advanced Battery Loan Guarantee and Grants Program.
Energy Efficiency Grants and Loans for Institutions:
$1.5 billion for energy sustainability and efficiency grants and loans to help school districts, institutes of higher education, local governments, and municipal utilities become more energy efficient.

Home Weatherization:
$6.2 billion to help low-income families reduce their energy costs by weatherizing their homes.

Smart Appliances:
$300 million to provide consumers with rebates for buying energy efficient Energy Star products to replace old appliances.

GSA Federal Fleet:
$600 million to replace older vehicles owned by the federal government with alternative fuel automobiles.

Electric Transportation:
$200 million for a new grant program to encourage electric vehicle technologies.

Cleaning Fossil Energy:
$2.4 billion for carbon capture and sequestration technology demonstration projects.

Department of Defense Research:
$350 million for research into using renewable energy to power weapons systems and military bases.

And then under Encouraging Science and Technology one finds:

Wireless and Broadband Grants:
$6 billion for broadband and wireless services in underserved areas to provide business and job opportunities in every section of America.

National Science Foundation:
$2 billion for expanding jobs in fundamental science and engineering, in the area of environmental challenges.
$400 million to build major research facilities that perform cutting edge science,
$300 million for major research equipment.
$200 million to repair and modernize science and engineering research facilities
$100 million to improve instruction in science, math and engineering.

National Institutes of Health Biomedical Research:
$1.5 billion for expanding good jobs in biomedical research.
$500 million for the repair and improvement strategic plan.

University Research Facilities:
$1.5 billion for NIH to renovate university research facilities.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
$462 million to enable CDC to complete its Buildings and Facilities Master Plan.

Biomedical Advanced Research and Development, Pandemic Flu, and Cyber Security:
$900 million to prepare for a pandemic influenza, develop medical countermeasures for NBC threats, and for cyber security.

Department of Energy:
$1.9 billion for basic research into high-energy physics, nuclear physics, and fusion energy sciences at DOE laboratories.
$400 million is for the Advanced Research Project Agency – Energy to support high-risk, high-payoff research into energy.

$400 million jobs on climate change research, including Earth science, satellite sensors to measure solar radiation, and for water management;
$150 million for R&D to improve aviation safety .
$50 million to repair NASA centers damaged by hurricanes and floods.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Satellites and Sensors:
$600 million for satellite development and acquisitions, including climate sensors and climate modeling.

National Institute of Standards and Technology:
$300 million for grants for research science buildings at colleges, universities, and other research organizations
$100 million to coordinate research efforts of laboratories and national research facilities by setting interoperability standards for manufacturing.

Agricultural Research Service:
$209 million for agricultural research facilities across the country.

U.S. Geological Survey:
$200 million to modernize U.S.G.S. science facilities and equipment.

Industrial Technology Services:
$70 million for the Technology Innovation Program to accelerate research in potentially revolutionary technologies with high job growth potential,
$30 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnerships to help small and mid-size manufacturers compete globally.

DTV Conversion Coupons:
$650 million for coupons used for converting TVs from analog to digital.

And in Infrastructure, just focusing on those investments that might improve the energy usage.

Highway Infrastructure:
$30 billion for highway and bridge construction projects.

Public Transport:
$1 billion for new commuter rail or other light rail systems.
$2 billion to modernize existing transit systems.
$6 billion to purchase buses and equipment for public transportation.
$1.1 billion to improve Amtrak speed and capacity.


  1. The high cost of fuel this past year did serious damage to our economy and society. After a brief reprieve gas prices are inching back up again. Our nation should not allow other nations to have such power over us and our economy . We have so much available to us in the way of technology and free sources of energy. WE seriously need to get on with becoming an energy independent nation. We are spending billions upon billions in bail out dollars. Why not spend some of those billions in getting alternative energy projects set up. We could create clean cheap energy, millions of badly needed new green jobs and lessen our dependence on foreign oil all in one fell swoop. I just read an eye opening book by Jeff Wilson called The Manhattan Project of 2009. It would cost the equivalent of 60 cents per gallon to drive and charge an electric car.If all gasoline cars, trucks, and SUV's instead had plug-in electric drive trains, the amount of electricity needed to replace gasoline is about equal to the estimated wind energy potential of the state of North Dakota. Why don't we use some of the billions in bail out money to bail us out of our dependence on foreign oil? This past year the high cost of fuel so seriously damaged our economy and society that the ripple effects will be felt for years to come.

  2. The funding to encourage alternate energy supplies is going to come out of the Department of Energy, and they have a new web page up that I will comment on, probably today.

  3. There are plenty of jobs in Chennai, grab these opportunities before they gone