One of the most frequently reported on things here at EarthTechling is federal dollars from the Recovery Act earmarked for various clean energy programs. A new report issued yesterday by the White House and presented by Vice President Joe Biden highlights this in more detail, going into exactly how this Act’s $100 billion investment in innovation is “not only transforming the economy and creating new jobs, but helping accelerate significant advances in science and technology that cut costs for consumers, save lives and help keep America competitive in the 21st century economy.”
The “The Recovery Act: Transforming the American Economy through Innovation” report, which can be viewed as a 50 page PDF, highlights a number of significant achievements which have been realized at a time of economic downturn through infusion from federal funds. These highlights, in regards to eco-focused actions, include being on track to cut the cost of solar power in half by 2015; cut the cost of electric vehicle batteries by 70 percent by 2015; and double renewable energy generation capacity and renewable energy manufacturing capacity by 2012.
In terms of specifics of the previously mentioned items, examples include lowering the cost of power from rooftop solar panels from $0.21 per kWh in 2009 to $0.10 per kWh in 2015, which is equivalent to typical household electricity rates; reducing costs of batteries for the typical all-electric vehicle from $33,000 to $10,000, and the cost of typical plug-in hybrid batteries from $13,000 to $4,000; and doubling renewable energy capacity from the 28.8 GW of solar, wind, and geothermal generation that has been installed as of 2008, to 57.6 GW by the end of 2011. This latter item is of particular note, as it is said to be enough capacity to power 16.7 million homes.
“From the beginning, we have been a nation of discovery and innovation – and today we continue in that tradition as Recovery Act investments pave the way for game-changing breakthroughs in transportation, energy and medical research,” said Vice President Biden in a statement. “We’re planting the seeds of innovation, but private companies and the nation’s top researchers are helping them grow, launching entire new industries, transforming our economy and creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the process.”