U.S. Energy Department Sets Lofty Goals

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), which is often a regular topic of coverage here at EarthTechling, yesterday released its strategic plan for 2011, describing it as “a comprehensive blueprint to guide the agency’s core mission of ensuring America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental, and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.” It is quite a lengthy document, but provides some valuable insights into the goals this arm of the federal government has when it comes to clean energy and energy security, among other topics.

The DOE has set a number of lofty goals for the nation around a range of topics related to energy. In regards to energy efficiency, for example, the DOE and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will work together to enable “the cost-effective energy retrofits of a total of 1.1 million housing units” by the end of fiscal year 2013. Also seen as a goal in this light is developing at least six appliance efficiency standards annually and “establishing an American National Standards Institute -accredited commercial and industrial energy-efficiency certification process by 2015.”

Microbial Electrosynthesis: University of Massachusetts

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In regards to the deployment of clean energy related technologies, the DOE hopes to double renewable energy generation (excluding conventional hydropower and biopower) by 2012, as well as supporting battery manufacturing capacity for 500,000 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles a year by 2015. Clean energy is only most effective, however, if the grid can also support it. To this end, the DOE wants to (1) deploy more than 26 million smart meters in American homes and businesses by 2013 and (2) reduce utility-scale energy storage costs 30% by 2015.

Helping the private sector to accelerate clean energy development is also seen as a top priority. Outlined goals in this area include reducing “upfront risk and cost associated with geologic technologies, including carbon sequestration and geothermal energy systems, by validating at least two new innovative exploration techniques for geologic reservoirs by 2014.” This is joined by, among other things, developing “cellulosic ethanol technologies by 2012 that can facilitate mature production costs less than $2.00/gallon.”

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.