Moniz touts budget’s focus on grid, carbon capture, cybersecurity

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz today touted the president’s fiscal 2015 budget proposal for the Energy Department as a means to advance a “grid of the future,” curb carbon emissions — including those from natural gas — and bolster cybersecurity.Speaking at DOE’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., today, Moniz said the budget proposal reflects the president’s dedication to addressing climate change and his “all of the above” energy policy.Moniz said the budget request would fund initiatives spanning different branches of the agency, including a $314 million program to create a more secure, resilient and flexible electric grid that can withstand increasingly volatile storms linked to climate change.

Moniz also noted that the budget request would provide a funding boost of about $33 million for the agency’s Office of Electricity Deliverability and Energy Reliability — $180 million — to support clean energy transmission, smart grid technology and cybersecurity.

The other initiatives include $192 million to study energy production and storage, carbon dioxide storage and the disposal of hazardous materials; $57 million for research and demonstration of technologies to make power generation more efficient and cheaper; and $302 million to strengthen DOE from cyberattacks.

The president’s budget also would dole out the first dollars to demonstrate the capture of emissions from natural gas, Moniz said. “Certainly, if you look decades ahead for natural gas — as with coal — to be a major player in a very low-carbon world, it will require CCS technology here, as well,” he said.

The budget would also foster research on gas hydrates and an interagency collaboration on shale development, he said.

The agency is probing fuels and infrastructure resilience as part of its Quadrennial Energy Review, and Moniz said a request for $39 million to support the agency’s new Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis would support that effort.