DOE's strategic plan is climate-oriented
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April 17, 2014
DOE's strategic plan is climate-oriented

In his introduction to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Strategic Plan 2014-2018, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz states that supporting implementation of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan is a priority goal for the department.  In the strategy, the DOE says it is committed to improvements in energy productivity and efficiency that will help achieve the president’s goals of a 17 percent reduction of 2005 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2020 and a reduction of 3 billion metric tons of carbon emissions by 2030.

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According to the strategy, the DOE intends to continue its multipart approach to improving energy efficiency by growing the clean fossil and renewable energy sectors...  Fostering new and better jobs is also part of the mix.  The main elements of DOE’s strategy include the following:

Energy efficiency

  • Develop energy-efficiency standards for consumer products and industrial equipment.  The DOE says that since 2009, it has issued 21 new or updated energy-efficiency standards that will help increase annual energy savings by more than 50 percent over the next decade.  The DOE says it will continue to promulgate new standards through the end of calendar year 2016.


  • Improve international cooperation to address climate change.  The DOE says it is focusing on implementing technical and policy collaborations with China, India, and other major emitting countries through bilateral engagement and multilateral forums such as the Clean Energy Ministerial and the International Renewable Energy Agency.  

Clean fossil energy

  • By the end of 2017, provide up to $8 billion in loan guarantees for advanced fossil energy technologies that reduce GHG emissions.  This includes the operation of three fully integrated carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) demonstrations and six large scale CO2 storage injections by the end of 2015.  The DOE says it will build on the first generation of CCS technologies to promote the commercialization of the next generation of CCS technologies by the mid-2020s.
  • Reduce the cost of transportation fuel cells by more than 25 percent to meet the 2020 target of $40/kilowatt and durability of 5,000 hours and efficiency of 60 percent.

Nuclear energy

  • Accelerate timelines for commercialization of small modular nuclear reactors through cost-shared agreements with industry partners.  For 2014 to 2015, the strategy includes plans to provide cost-shared licensing technical support to selected private sector partners in support of their efforts to complete and submit a design certification application for at least one small modular reactor.

Distributed energy

  • Demonstrate the integration of 50 percent variable distributed energy resources on distribution feeders with electric vehicles and building energy management systems by 2020 with high reliability and resiliency.

Renewable fuel

  • Focus on significantly increasing the amount of cost-competitive electric power from renewable resources across the nation by further accelerating the development and commercialization of these technologies.  The president has established a goal of permitting 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy on public lands by 2020, and the DOE will continue its work with partner agencies to streamline permitting and to finance transmission to access America’s richest renewable energy resources.
  • Work to ensure that by 2015 up to three commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol bio refineries are operational, with validation that their outputs are projected to yield a mature technology price that is competitive with gasoline and that there is a greater than 60 percent lifecycle GHG reduction relative to gasoline.
  • By the end of FY 2015, achieve best in class solar photovoltaic (PV) system installations at $1.85/watt utility, $2.37/watt commercial, and $3.10/watt residential scale.
  • Demonstrate three grid-connected advanced offshore wind concepts by 2017.

DOE’s 2014 to 2018 strategic plan

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