National Renewable Energy Groups Urge Support for Department of Energy Programs Facing Severe Proposed Cuts in Fiscal Year 2018 Budget

WASHINGTON, June 13, 2017 – Five national business groups representing diverse renewable energy technologies, developers, financiers and Fortune 500 buyers released a letter today requesting that Congress fund programs that have helped support job creation, economic growth and our country’s dominant technological position in electric power and renewable energy research and development.

The letter conveys support for energy programs at the Department of Energy (DOE)’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Advanced Research Programs Agency – Energy (ARPA-E).

“The proposed cuts would seriously jeopardize America’s leadership position in cutting-edge research on clean energy technologies and harm the United States’ overall competitiveness in a rapidly growing global industry that presents a multi-trillion-dollar business opportunity,” said Gregory Wetstone, president and CEO of the American Council On Renewable Energy. “The work done by EERE, NRE, and ARPA-E fills a critical gap in research and development programs. These cuts would put our country at risk of falling behind other countries that are investing in this area, such as China.”

“Modern American wind turbines are among the most productive in the world thanks to research efforts housed in the DOE’s Office of EERE and National Labs, as well as manufacturing innovation,” said Tom Kiernan, AWEA CEO. “Our industry will invest $85 billion and create 8,000 manufacturing jobs in the U.S. by 2020. Maintaining these vital research programs at current levels will help America stay at the leading edge of innovation, accelerating investment and job creation into our nation’s future.”

“The dramatic funding reduction in geothermal research, from $71 million to $12 million, will have significant, negative impacts on technology development for the U.S. geothermal industry, dramatically reducing the ability to achieve the economic benefits of tapping the vast geothermal resource base of the United States,” said Karl Gawell, executive director of the Geothermal Energy Association. “Additionally, if the budget cuts are adopted then valuable benefits for the U.S. economy will be lost. For example, rather than developing domestic production of critical minerals from geothermal resource for high-tech applications, imports from China will continue.”

“Working closely with NREL, academia and industry, EERE is fostering innovation and accelerating the development of hydropower, pumped storage, marine energy and conduit technologies,” Linda Church Ciocci, executive director of the National Hydropower Association. “The proposed funding cuts would put the Energy Department’s waterpower research programs in jeopardy; stifling advancements such as new turbines and the deployment of wave and tidal technologies.”

“At a time when the United States must innovate in order to hold onto its competitive advantage, now is not the right time to stop funding key research and development programs,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “The SunShot initiative is one example of an Energy Department program that has helped bring American technologies straight to market, paying off on the government’s investment many times over.”

See full letters regarding DOE funding to House and Senate appropriators, available here.


American Council On Renewable Energy at
American Wind Energy Association at
Geothermal Energy Association at
National Hydropower Association 
Solar Energy Industries Association

ACORE, Anna Hahnemann,, 202-777-7548
AWEA, Evan Vaughan,, 202-431-4640
GEA, Karl Gawell,, 202-454-5264
NHA, LeRoy Coleman,, 202-750-8405
SEIA, Alexandra Hobson,, 202-556-2886