Obama homes in on clean tech in budget proposal for fiscal year 2014

11 Apr 2013

US President Barack Obama delivers his budget plan for the fiscal year 2014 in the Rose Garden of the White House. He is with Jeffrey Zients, the acting director of Office of Management and Budget. Image via White House/Pete Souza

Yesterday, US President Barack Obama unveiled his US$3.8trn budget plan for fiscal year 2014. As part of his budget proposals, Obama is calling for a 40pc increase on spending in clean tech as a result of abolishing US$4bn in tax subsidies for oil and gas industries.

In his US$3.8trn budget, Obama is proposing tax increases and restraints on social security benefits. His budget plan for the US aims to cut the deficit by a net US$600bn over 10 years.

Fiscal year 2014 will run from 1 October 2013 until 30 September 2014.

As part of Obama’s budget proposals, the US Department of Energy would get a US$28.4bn budget for 2014 – that’s an 8pc increase on the 2013 budget.

This would include an extra US$615m to increase the use of clean power from renewables such as solar, wind, geothermal and hydropower.

In addition, the budget proposes US$575m for research into vehicle technologies and a US$282m funding pot to go towards research into next-generation biofuels.

It also outlines plans for US$16m to go towards enhancing the security of energy infrastructure and to work on energy recovery technologies.

The budget proposal calls for US Congress to set up a US$2bn Energy Security Trust that will, over 10 years, invest in research to come up with new technologies to run cars and trucks. This would include research into advanced batteries for electric vehicles, biofuels and hydrogen fuel cell technologies.

However, Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget request for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would give the agency a US$8bn budget – a 9pc drop on 2013 levels.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic