Increase in Funding for Fossil Energy Research
Congress has agreed on a 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill that allocates $562 million to research and development in fossil energy, including advanced coal, natural gas, oil, and other fossil energy technologies. This represents an increase of $54 million above the FY2013 enacted level and $142 million above the President’s request.
The increase is good news for the National Energy Technology Laboratory, which has major facilities in Morgantown. Part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory system, NETL works to:
- Enhance America’s energy security
- Improve the environmental acceptability of energy production and use
- Increase the competitiveness and reliability of U.S. energy systems
- Ensure a robust U.S. energy future
TechConnect supports the increased level of funding for the R&D efforts of NETL, as it can lead to new technologies, solve energy challenges, and promote economic growth. Advanced energy is one of four industry sectors targeted for development in the West Virginia Blueprint for Technology-Based Economic Development, produced by TechConnect in partnership with the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice.
The Battelle report notes that “West Virginia is positioned at a unique time in history to further advance its economy around advanced energy and energy-related technologies.” Further, the report points out that West Virginia has a strong base of energy R&D at NETL, as well as at WVU and in the private sector at MATRIC.