Bush SOTU: Advanced Energy Initiative

Well, something interesting tonight; as was rumored, Bush has announced something that at least sounds like a good start in the right direction: the Advanced Energy Initiative. This includes a "22-percent increase in clean-energy research at the Department of Energy, to push for breakthroughs in two vital areas." - those two areas being clean coal, solar, wind, and nuclear on the one hand, and bio-fuels on the other. 

Of course the proof of these good intentions will be in the actual budget bill that comes forward over the next weeks and months - how will the 22% be split, and what does the 22% actually amount to in real dollars? Does the 22% apply to the $6 billion "Science and Energy Resources" budget? Or just to the $2 billion or so in energy efficiency and renewables, a much less significant bump? We'll have to wait and see for the actual budget...

Several positives in the way this was presented tonight:

Whether or not these actually turn into significant programs, their presence in tonight's speech marks a major step forward in truthful acknowledgment of the reality of our energy situation. So, at least some kudos to the president for listening to reality on something important!

[UPDATE] Details of the proposals are available on a White House Advanced Energy Initiative page. The 2007 budget will include:

So it does include hydrogen money as well. The total increase in the listed programs is under $200 million, but there were certainly some things not listed there yet (no mention of dollar amounts for the nuclear initiatives for instance). It's in the right direction at least - especially the 78% increase in solar photovoltaics research! But this is all a far cry from the full scope of what's needed.

Created: 2006-02-01 05:38:02 by Arthur Smith
Modified: 2006-02-01 14:38:55 by Arthur Smith