Senator Brown, Leading Energy Think Tanks Push for More Research Investment and New National Institu
September 16, 2009
President Obama and the Department of Energy are launching a new energy education initiative, very similar to the National Energy Education Act recommendations advanced by the Breakthrough Institute beginning in June 2008 (see recent post here). Today, the Department of Energy released official FY 2010 budget documents that start to flesh out what this new program will look like. It appears the program will receive $115 million in funding, if the President's budget request is implemented.
Here's the description of the program from the new 'Budget Highlights' document available here (pdf):
RE-ENERGYSE (REgaining our ENERGY Science and Engineering Edge)
The Department will launch a comprehensive K-20+ science and engineering initiative, funded at $115 million in FY 2010, to educate thousands of students at all levels in the fields contributing to the fundamental understanding of energy science and engineering systems. This initiative, which complements the Department's other education efforts, will provide graduate research fellowships in scientific and technical fields that advance the Department's energy mission; provide training grants to universities that establish multidisciplinary research and education programs related to clean energy; support universities that dramatically expand energy-related research opportunities for undergraduates; build partnerships between community colleges and different segments of the clean tech industry to develop customized curriculum for "green collar" jobs; and increase public awareness, particularly among young people, about the role that science and technology can play in responsible environmental stewardship.
Later, the document specifies that $80 million will be dedicated to higher ed initiatives, while the remaining $35 million will focus on technical training as well as K12 eduction efforts (see p. 30).
A presentation on the budget delivered by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is also posted online (pdf). The brief slide deck highlights the new RE-ENERGYSE initiative and appears to indicate the number of students the program will support at different grade levels in a chart shown here: