East Hawaii News

Senate to Include Schatz’s Energy Research Funding Amendment

January 28, 2016, 4:32 PM HST
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United States Senator Brian Schatz. United State Senate photo.

United States Senator Brian Schatz. United State Senate photo.

An amendment to the Energy Policy Modernization Act was approved by the United States Senate in a 55-37 vote.

The amendment was introduced by Senator Brian Schatz, and will authorize increased funding for energy science and technology research. Funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which is within the Department of Energy, will be boosted through the amendment, which is tasked with funding energy technology projects.

“Innovation in advanced energy technologies can be a significant part of the solution to any number of challenges – climate change, increasing the reliability of our grid, lowering electricity rates, hardening our energy infrastructure against cyber attacks, and many others,” said Senator Schatz. “ARPA-E is helping fund projects at the cutting edge of all of these challenges, and more.”

In addition, the amendment will increase the authorization for ARPA-E above what is currently in the Energy Policy Modernization Act, including $325 million per year for fiscal years 2016-2018 and $375 million per year for fiscal years 2019-2020.

The underlying energy bill authorizes ARPA-E at $291.2 million for fiscal year 2016, $303.6 million for fiscal year 2017, $314.7 million for fiscal year 2018, $327.3 million for fiscal year 2019, and $340.6 million for fiscal year 2020.

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Senator Schatz worked with the ARPA-E director to assess the need and utilization for additional funding.

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Over 400 potentially transformational energy technology projects have been funded through ARPA-E since 2009.

Senator Schatz spoke on the Senate floor in support of the bipartisan energy bill and his amendment to increase funding for ARPA-E on Thursday.

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