Report - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

DOE FY09 Budget Request for Energy Research, Development & Demonstration – Commentary


Laura Diaz Anadon, Kelly Sims Gallagher, and Matthew Bunn offer a detailed and comprehensive look into the FY09 DOE request for energy RD&D, investigating changes in each of the major areas: renewable energy, efficiency, hydrogen, energy storage, fossil, and nuclear. They argue that Congress and the administration are moving in some of the right directions - but not at the pace and scale that is required. Much bolder U.S. action on energy RD&D is critical in order to address today's energy and climate-related challenges.

They offer the following recommendations for federal spending priorities for energy RD&D:

  • Funding for renewable and efficiency RD&D should be substantially increased, as should funding for carbon sequestration RD&D and energy storage.
  • The request for nuclear RD&D should be reduced in the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative and the funds redirected to long-term research on improving both open and closed fuel cycles.
  • A more substantial fund should be established for international cooperation on low-carbon RD&D, and its details should be carefully drafted.

This commentary is one product of a three-year initiative supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation in which ETIP researchers are: 1) Developing policy recommendations for an expanded U.S. federal energy-technology innovation endeavor; 2) Evaluating the U.S. federal energy research, development, and demonstration budget on an annual basis; and 3) Assessing the energy technology innovation activities in the public and private sectors in the United States and internationally.

For comments and questions about the commentary or the energy RD&D initiative, please contact Program Manager Laura Diaz Anadon at

For more information on this publication: Please contact Energy Technology Innovation Policy
For Academic Citation: Anadon, Laura Diaz, Kelly Sims Gallagher, and Matthew Bunn. “DOE FY09 Budget Request for Energy Research, Development & Demonstration – Commentary.” Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center, June 3, 2008.