Sending Office: Honorable Donald S. Beyer, Jr.
Sent By:
Kate.Schisler@mail.house.gov

Dear Colleague:

Please join us in sending a letter to the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee urging support of several programs vital to advancing U.S. leadership in clean energy innovation. Specifically, the letter urges support of three complementary
approaches to tackling the critical energy innovation challenges before us: Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E); Energy Innovation Hubs; and Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs).

These programs serve as important building blocks to achieving our energy goals. In the pursuit of transformational energy technologies, we must be innovative in developing models to fund and manage innovation investments. To accomplish this goal, the public
sector has a deep history of working hand-in-hand with the private sector to bring the fruits of this research to market, address market failures, provide needed expertise, and raise capital for high-payoff, though riskier, projects in which industry would
not otherwise invest. Without such partnerships, the stories of the transcontinental railroad, the aviation sector, and biotechnology industries would be dramatically different. As these past projects show, the government has a critical role to play in helping
to support and foster the new ideas that will serve as the foundation for the nation’s future energy economy.

America’s innovation history is built on a foundation of robust federal investment in fundamental scientific research. To sign on to the letter, please fill out the form. For questions, please contact
Kate Schisler with Rep. Beyer at 5-4376 or kate.schisler@mail.house.gov or Hector Arguello with Rep. Curbelo at 5-2778 or hector.arguello@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

Don Beyer                   Carlos Curbelo

Member of Congress     Member of Congress    

—–

The Honorable Mike Simpson                                             The Honorable Marcy Kaptur

Chairman                                                                              Ranking Member

Energy and Water Development, and                                 Energy and Water Development, and

Related Agencies                                                                 Related Agencies                                  

House Appropriations Committee                                       House Appropriations Committee

2362-B Rayburn House Office Building                             1016 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515                                                       Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Chairman Simpson and Ranking Member Kaptur:

As Members with a strong interest in ensuring our nation’s future energy security, we thank the subcommittee for continuing to fund several key Department of Energy (DOE) research and innovation programs and request that these programs are given high priority
as you consider the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Energy and Water Appropriations bill. We are specifically writing to support three complementary approaches to tackling the critical energy innovation challenges before us: the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy
(ARPA-E) program, Energy Innovation Hubs, and Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs).

As you know, DOE plays an important role in the development and incubation of clean energy innovation that benefits our nation and the economy. DOE programs such as these support scientific research and technological advances at multiple stages of the innovation
pipeline. These programs represent a robust portfolio of energy R&D investments, each of which complements the others to maximize our nation’s ability to achieve energy breakthroughs as quickly as possible. These programs, outlined below, deserve your highest
consideration.

  • ARPA-E:  $346.5 million
  • Energy Innovation Hubs: $108.4 million
  • EFRCs: $110 million

Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E): With significant federal investments, the DOD-funded Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been responsible for some of the most innovative technological breakthroughs of
our time, from Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to the Internet. ARPA-E was created to replicate the successful DARPA model by incentivizing researchers to develop promising research into game-changing technologies that can meet our future energy needs. Despite
the potential for a huge payoff, the private sector does not invest sufficiently in this kind of “high-risk, high-reward” energy research. Supporting ARPA-E is a bet on Americans’ proven ability to turn creative ideas into market-creating, job-growing businesses.
Since 2009, 136 of these projects have attracted more than $2.6 billion in private sector follow-on funding.  For FY 2019, we request $346.5 million to enable ARPA-E to continue to invest in innovative ideas.

Energy Innovation Hubs (Hubs): The Hubs are large, integrated research centers involving multiple disciplines, investigators, and institutions with a focus on bridging the gap between scientific breakthroughs and industrial commercialization.
The Hubs use a centralized, mission-oriented research approach like that employed by the Manhattan Project or at AT&T’s Bell Laboratories. To date, DOE has established and Congress has supported five hubs focusing on: Fuels from Sunlight; Modeling and Simulation
for Nuclear Reactors; Batteries and Energy Storage; Critical Materials; and Desalination. For FY 2019, we request $108.4 million to fully fund the five hubs.

Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs): EFRCs consist of small groups of researchers focused on the fundamental science that underlies roadblocks to revolutionary energy technologies, such as interfacial chemistry for solar energy conversion
and electrical energy storage. Unlike the Hubs and ARPA-E, these centers specifically focus on long-term chemical and materials science for energy applications. The centers also play a significant role in training graduate students in scientific disciplines
central to overcoming energy-related grand challenges. After 2016, there are now 36 EFRCs with related research activities being conducted in 35 states and Washington, DC. For FY 2019, we request $110 million to support these centers.

America’s innovation history is built on a foundation of robust federal investment in fundamental scientific research. At the same time, the public sector has a deep history of working hand-in-hand with the private sector to bring the fruits of this research
to market, address market failures, provide needed expertise, and raise capital for high-payoff, though riskier, projects in which industry would not otherwise invest. Without such partnerships, the stories of the transcontinental railroad, the aviation sector,
and biotechnology industries would be dramatically different. As in these past projects, the government has a critical role to play in helping to support and foster the new ideas that will serve as the foundation for the nation’s future energy economy.

Thank you for your consideration of these important DOE innovation programs.

Sincerely,

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Energy, Science

icon eDC logo e-Dear Colleague version 2.0