Obama Administration proposes FY 2016 budget for Energy Dept.

The Obama Administration on Feb. 2 rolled out its fiscal year 2016 budget proposal, which out of the U.S. Department of Energy seeks $842.1m for the Office of Fossil Energy (FE).

This money would advance technologies related to the reliable, efficient, affordable and environmentally sound use of fossil fuels, implement ongoing federal responsibilities at the Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves, and manage the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve and Northeast Home Heating oil Reserve to provide strategic and economic security against disruptions in U.S. petroleum supplies.

The President’s FY 2016 budget requests $560m for the fossil energy research and development (FER&D) portfolio. FE leads federal research, development, and demonstration efforts on advanced carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies to facilitate achievement of the President’s climate goals. FE also conducts research and development related to prudent and sustainable development of unconventional domestic resources.

In FY 2016, Fossil Energy Research and Development will continue to focus on carbon capture and storage and activities that increase the performance, efficiency, and availability of systems integrated with CCS, said the Energy Dept.  Fossil Energy R&D manages the Clean Coal Power Initiative program along with two American Recovery and Reinvestment Act CCS demonstration programs: FutureGen 2.0 and the Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage program under the CCS Demos program.

  • Carbon Capture & Storage and Power Systems – The CCS and Power Systems program conducts research to reduce carbon emissions by improving the performance and efficiency of CCS technologies and of fossil energy systems integrated with CCS. The FY 2016 budget request for the program is $369.4m. It also includes $34mfor National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) staff to conduct in-house fossil energy R&D.
  • Carbon Capture – The FY 2016 budget requests $116.6 million for carbon capture R&D. This activity is focused on the development of post-combustion and pre-combustion CO2 capture and compression technologies for new and existing coal- and natural gas-fired power plants and industrial sources. The FY 2016 Budget Request funds a new emphasis on optimizing carbon capture on natural gas systems, funds ongoing projects, and proceeds to larger scale pilot tests of technologies on both coal and natural gas. These efforts will support the program’s commitment to deliver a demonstration project that captures and stores over 75% of the carbon emissions from a natural gas power system of at least 50 MWe capacity by 2020 using what has been determined to be the best available carbon capture technology available for demonstration at the time.
  • Carbon Storage – The FY 2016 budget requests $108.8m for carbon storage R&D. The overall goal of the Carbon Storage Program is to develop and validate technologies to ensure safe and permanent geologic storage of captured CO2. Development and validation of these technologies is critical to ensure stakeholders have the capability to assess, monitor and mitigate storage risks for CO2, and ensure the viability of carbon storage as an effective technology solution that can be implemented on a large-scale to mitigate carbon emissions.
  • Advanced Energy Systems (AES) – The FY 2016 budget requests $39.4m for advanced energy systems R&D. The AES mission is to increase the availability and efficiency of fossil energy systems integrated with CO2 capture, while maintaining the highest environmental standards at the lowest cost.  The program elements focus on oxy-combustion, advanced turbines, gasification, and solid oxide fuel cells.
  • Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Technology – The Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Technology’s (sCO2) $19.3m request supports the department’s s CO2 crosscut which is focused on technology development for supercritical CO2-based power conversion cycles. These cycles can be applied to most heat sources, including fossil, nuclear, solar and geothermal applications, while offering significant improvements in efficiency, cost, footprint, and water use. FER&D’s ultimate goal is a directly-fired supercritical CO2 fuel cycle which could also significantly reduce the costs of carbon capture and storage.  The major thrusts of the crosscut are a coordinated R&D effort in high temperature technology development/component validation, and the Supercritical Transformational Electric Power Generation (STEP) initiative to design, construct and operate a 10 MW pilot test bed.
  • Natural Gas Technologies – The mission of the Natural Gas program (with a FY 2016 budget request of $44m), is to support DOE missions in energy, environment and national security. The program will focus on continued implementation of priority collaborative research and development, together with Department of the Interior, and Environmental Protection Agency, to ensure that shale gas development is conducted in a manner that is environmentally sound. The Natural Gas Technologies program will continue implementation of the multi-agency collaborative research strategy in such areas as water quality and availability including the treatment and use of co-produced water from oil and gas wells, air quality, induced seismicity, and mitigating the impacts of development (e.g. wellbore integrity, reducing surface and subsurface footprint, and reduced water use). The program will initiate a midstream natural gas infrastructure subprogram to improve technologies that  detect and mitigate methane emissions from natural gas infrastructure, communicate results to and partner with stakeholders to ensure that new technologies can be implemented, and measure the effectiveness on emission reductions. In addition, the program will initiate a new emissions quantification from natural gas infrastructure subprogram focused on better quantifying methane emissions from the natural gas value chain for updating the national Greenhouse Gas Inventory.
About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.