**10/15 Update: Today, the Senate passed the Energy & Water (E&W) Appropriations Conference Report, sending the legislation to the President’s desk for signature. The E&W Appropriations bill is the third of nine to make it all of the way through the appropriations process. UW projects in the legislation and accounts of interest are noted below**
House and Senate conferees on the fiscal year 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations have approved a conference agreement. The conference agreement reconciles differences in the bills produced by the individual chambers and now must go back for final approval, which is expected. Within the legislation is support for two important University of Washington projects: $880,000 for the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center, and $1 million for the Washington Biofuels Industry Development project. Additional items of importance in the conference report include:
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy- $2.2 billion, $314 million above 2009, to increase investments in technologies that use energy more effectively and produce clean, inexpensive energy from domestic sources.
- Solar Energy: $225 million for research, development, and demonstration projects to make solar energy more affordable.
- Biofuels: $220 million for grants to improve production of alternative fuels such as cellulosic ethanol
Office of Science- $4.9 billion, $131 million above 2009, for scientific research critical to addressing long-term energy needs. This funding, in addition to the $4.8 billion appropriated in fiscal year 2009 and $1.6 billion in the Recovery Act, exceeds the goals in the America COMPETES Act.
- Basic Energy Sciences: $1.6 billion for basic research primarily on materials sciences and on chemical
sciences, energy biosciences and geosciences. This work places heavy emphasis on advancing the frontiers of using ever-faster tools, including $394 million in the Advanced Scientific Computing Research program, to better understand ever-smaller and more detailed phenomena.
- Applied Research: $2.4 billion for Nuclear Physics, High Energy Physics, Biological and Environmental Research, and Fusion Energy Sciences.
- Energy Innovation Hubs: Funding for three of the proposed eight Energy Innovation Hubs (at $22 million each) in the following areas: Fuels from Sunlight; Energy Efficient Building Systems Design; and Modeling and Simulation.
- RE-ENERGYSE: Funding was not provided for the newly proposed RE-ENERGYSE education program.