The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced an organizational realignment to ensure that it has the structure needed to effectively implement the clean energy investments in President Biden’s infrastructure law and the Energy Act of 2020.
The new organizational structure establishes two Under Secretaries: one focused on fundamental science and clean energy innovation and the other focused on deploying clean infrastructure.
The infrastructure law and the Energy Act of 2020 provide over $60 billion primarily for new major clean energy demonstration and deployment programs and more than triples DOE’s annual funding for energy programs, including significantly expanded research and development (R&D) and entirely new demonstration and deployment missions.
The Under Secretary for Infrastructure will focus on deploying clean energy solutions. The new Under Secretary will centralize existing offices focused on major demonstration and deployment with new offices. The existing offices moving to the new Under Secretary include DOE’s Loan Programs Office, Office of Indian Energy, Office of Clean Energy Demonstration, Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER), and the Federal Energy Management Program.
Accompanying the announcement of the new Under Secretary is the launch of three new offices to support clean energy infrastructure deployment:
- The Grid Infrastructure Office to execute DOE’s Building a Better Grid initiative to modernize and upgrade the nation’s electric transmission lines and deploy cheaper, cleaner electricity across the country;
- The State and Community Energy Program to work more closely with states, localities, and communities to in the planning and deployment of decarbonization solutions;
- The Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains.
The offices in the Under Secretary for Science and Innovation (formerly the Undersecretary for Science and Energy) will drive research and development of energy technologies, with connected demonstration and deployment activities.
Through the realignment the Office of Science, DOE’s applied energy offices, and DOE’s 17 National Labs will continue their core discovery science and innovation missions including leveraging $12 billion in base appropriations as of fiscal year 2021 and $3.8 billion in funding in the infrastructure law and Energy Act of 2020.