Dear Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, Majority Leader Schumer, Minority Leader McConnell, Chairwoman DeLauro, Ranking Member Granger, Chairman Leahy, and Vice Chairman Shelby: Major breakthroughs in clean energy technologies have long been driven by public investment in research, development, demonstration, and deployment (RDD&D). This is no small feat; the United States Department of Energy (DOE) has invested billions of dollars each year to support the commercialization of innovative technologies. DOE’s historical investments have led to the creation and growth of industries like nuclear energy, solar energy, and gas. To capitalize on this record of success and to provide opportunities for American workers, boost the U.S. economy, export American innovation, and reduce carbon emissions, Congress should appropriate significant, targeted increases for DOE innovation activities in FY23.
Congress has wisely provided consistent annual funding increases for RDD&D activities at DOE in recent years, appropriating major boosts to innovation programs between FY21 and FY22. Targeting funding in a manner focused on innovation opportunities helps the U.S. compete with countries like Russia and China. Because of this consistent attention to funding along with recent legislative actions to jump-start our clean energy innovation ecosystem, U.S. clean energy RDD&D funding is currently growing at the rate recommended by reports such as Energizing America  and Accelerating Decarbonization of the U.S. Energy System , namely, to double our energy innovation investments by 2025 and triple them by 2030. These increases in innovation funding are necessary to bring more clean energy technologies to market at a lower cost to consumers, reclaim US leadership in the clean energy supply chain, and reduce the overall cost of decarbonizing our economy . Doing so allows us to advance even more energy technologies, setting our nation up for future domestic energy industry growth and weaning our economy off of volatile foreign oil markets and autocrats.