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President Requests $760.4 Million for Fossil Energy Programs

February 1, 2010 - 12:00pm


WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Obama's FY 2011 budget seeks $760.4 million for the Office of Fossil Energy (FE) to support improved energy security and rapid development of climate-oriented technology. The request includes $586.6 million for Fossil Energy Research and Development, $138.9 million for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, $11.3 million for the Northeast Heating Oil Reserve and $23.6 million for the Naval Petroleum Reserves.

The FY 2011 budget request will allow FE to fulfill its mission: to provide the nation with the best opportunity to tap the full potential of its abundant fossil energy resources in an environmentally sound and affordable manner; and to ensure America's readiness to respond to short-term energy supply disruptions.


The Fossil Energy Research and Development (FE R&D) FY 2011 budget request of $586.5 million represents more than 75 percent of FE's total FY 2011 budget request. It is comprised of the Fuels and Power Systems program. This program is designed to ensure that we can continue to use the nation's abundant fossil resources in a way that will benefit our environment and our economy for years to come.

Advancing Coal Toward a Low-Carbon Future

Fuels and Power Systems. The FY 2011 budget request for FE's Fuels and Power Systems program is $403.9 million. Initiatives will focus on research, development, and deployment of technologies to use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently. The core research and development (R&D) efforts of the Fuels and Power Systems program focus on: the creation of a portfolio of technologies that can capture and permanently store carbon dioxide (CO2) from power plants and industrial processes; carbon capture for existing coal-fired power plants; efficiency improvements for existing and new power generation, such as: improved gasification technologies, coal-to-hydrogen conversion, development of stationary power fuel cells, and improved turbines for future coal-based combined cycle plants.

The Fuels and Power Systems program also supports a robust demonstration program, which includes the Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI) and FutureGen programs.

Carbon Sequestration. The Department of Energy is requesting $143.0 million for FE's Carbon Sequestration program. By developing technologies to decrease the release of CO2 into the atmosphere, we can continue to use our extensive domestic fossil energy resources while reducing the impacts on global climate change. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) will play a central role in fossil fuels remaining a viable energy source for our nation. CCS is the primary pathway that DOE is pursuing to allow continued use of fossil fuels in a carbon-constrained future.

Essential to these objectives are the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSPs), which unite public and private entities in an effort to complete and evaluate small- and large-scale CO2 injection tests across the nation with the aim of developing best practices and supporting the regulatory development process.

In FY 2011, several of the nine large-scale RCSP CO2 injection projects will be injecting CO2 for large volume (1 million tons/year) geologic storage tests. Most of the large-scale field tests will have completed the first stage of the projects consisting of site selection and characterization, NEPA, pre-injection monitoring, and permitting. One project will have concluded its injection of 1 million tons of CO2 by FY 2011, and will be conducting post injection monitoring at the site.

Additionally, U.S. engagement and collaboration with the global community will continue through FE's participation in the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center, and other international initiatives. 

Innovations for Existing Plants (IEP). The FY 2011 budget request for the IEP program is $65.0 million. The IEP program is focused on developing post-combustion CO2 retrofit capture technology. Post-combustion CO2 capture technology can be used in pulverized coal power plants, which is the industry standard for coal-fueled electricity generation.  

Advanced Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC). DOE is requesting $55.0 million in FY 2011 for the IGCC program. The IGCC program is developing advanced gasification-based technologies to: reduce the cost of near-zero emissions (including CO2) coal-based IGCC plants; improve thermal efficiency; and achieve near-zero atmospheric emissions of all pollutants, including CO2, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, acid gases, and mercury.  

Fuels. The FY 2011 budget request for the Fuels program is $12.0 million. In FY 2011, activities include continued support for the bench-scale development of hydrogen separation technologies and components. 

Fuel Cells. The FY 2011 budget request for the Fuel Cells program is $50.0 million. The Fuel Cells activity will continue to increase reliability of the Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) fuel cell technology and provide the technology base to permit continued improvement to low cost, MW class, ultra-clean, with up to 60 percent electrical efficiencies for central power generation, and fuel cells for distributed generation applications.  

Advanced Turbines. In FY 2011, the Advanced Turbines program will continue projects to develop efficient, clean, and cost-effective hydrogen fueled turbines for coal-based IGCC power systems that capture and sequester carbon dioxide. DOE is requesting $31.0 million for this activity in FY 2011. 

Advanced Research. The Advanced Research program bridges basic and applied research to help reduce the costs of advanced coal and power systems while improving efficiency and environmental performance. The proposed $47.9 million budget for Advanced Research will fund advanced materials research and projects for ultra-supercritical steam cycles for power generation aimed at a greater understanding of the physical, chemical, biological, and thermo-dynamic barriers that currently limit the use of coal and other fossil fuels.

In FY 2011, a multi-lab partnership will develop a comprehensive, integrated suite of computational models for accelerating the development of carbon capture technologies. The scientific underpinnings of the suite of models will ensure that learning from successive generations of a technology or learning from even competing technologies is maximized. The simulation-based confidence will reduce the risk in incorporating multiple innovative technologies in a design, thereby significantly reducing the development cycle required to move novel technologies to commercialization. 

Clean Coal Power Initiative. No funding is being requested for the CCPI program in FY 2011. In FY 2011, FE will focus on project execution in all Rounds of CCPI, and completion of National Environmental Policy Act procedures for ongoing projects.

FutureGen. No new funding is being requested for the FutureGen program in FY 2011.

Tapping the Nation's Unconventional Natural Gas Resources

FE's Natural Gas Technologies and Oil Technology programs continue to focus on science and technology to find and produce oil and gas from non-conventional reservoirs and reduce the environmental impact of resource development.

Natural Gas Technologies. The Natural Gas Technologies program develops technologies to explore the recovery potential of natural gas from methane hydrate resources and their potential environmental impacts. In FY 2011, the Office of Science will initiate a new research program in gas hydrates. Therefore, no funding is requested in the Fossil Energy budget.

Petroleum - Oil Technology. Consistent with the President's policy to not fund government R&D for oil technology, there is no funding requested for the Oil Technology program in FY 2011.

Petroleum Reserves

FE's Office of Petroleum Reserves manages programs that provide the United States with strategic and economic protection against disruptions in oil supplies. These include the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve, and the Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves.

Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) provides strategic and economic security against disruptions in oil supplies with an emergency stockpile of crude oil. The SPR is currently filled to capacity at 727 million barrels of crude oil in inventory.

The FY 2011 budget request of $138.9 million for SPR is a decrease from FY 2010 funding. The decrease assumes a one-time cancellation of $71 million in balances from prior year appropriations for a 1 billion barrel expansion at the Richton, Miss., site and the use of these balances to partially fund the $209.9 million operations and management activities of the SPR.

FY 2011 funding initiates activities to integrate into site operations the Bayou Choctaw replacement cavern, planned for purchase with FY 2010 appropriations.

Additionally, FY 2011 provides for the assessment of energy efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) control at SPR facilities toward meeting the DOE goal to lower GHG emissions at all DOE facilities.

Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve. The Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve, which was established in 2000, is capable of assuring a short-term supplement to private home heating oil supplies during times of very low inventories or in the event of significant threats to immediate energy supplies. The two million barrel Reserve protects the Northeast against a supply disruption for up to 10 days, the time required for ships to carry heating oil from the Gulf of Mexico to New York Harbor.

The FY 2011 budget request of $11.3 million continues operation of the Reserve, including lease of commercial storage space and funding for the award of new storage contracts in FY 2011.

Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves. Today, three of the four original Naval Petroleum Reserves (NPR-1, NPR-2, and NPR-4) have been sold or transferred to the Department of the Interior. The only remaining oil reserve managed by the DOE is the Teapot Dome field (NPR-3) in Casper, Wyo., which is now a stripper field that also serves as an oilfield technology testing center (Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center).

The FY 2011 budget request for this program is $23.6 million, which will fund the environmental remediation of NPR-1 and operations for NPR-3.