Renewable Energy R&D Funding History: A Comparison with Funding for Nuclear Energy, Fossil Energy, and Energy Efficiency R&D [March 7, 2012]   [open pdf - 250KB]

"Energy-related research and development (R&D)--on coal-based synthetic petroleum and on atomic power--played an important role in the successful outcome of World War II. In the postwar era, the federal government conducted R&D on fossil fuel and nuclear energy sources to support peacetime economic growth. The energy crises of the 1970s spurred the government to broaden the focus to include renewable energy and energy efficiency. Over the 35-year period from the Department of Energy's inception at the beginning of fiscal year (FY) 1978 through FY2012, federal funding for renewable energy R&D amounted to about 17% of the energy R&D total, compared with 15% for energy efficiency, 25% for fossil, and 37% for nuclear. For the 65- year period from 1948 through 2012, nearly 12% went to renewables, compared with 10% for efficiency, 25% for fossil, and 49% for nuclear."

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CRS Report for Congress, RS22858
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