Solar Energy: Federal Initiatives Overlap but Take Measures to Avoid Duplication (GAO-12-843)

Solar Energy: Federal Initiatives Overlap but Take Measures to Avoid Duplication (GAO-12-843)

by U. S. Government Accountability Office


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Sixty-five solar-related initiatives with a variety of key characteristics were supported by six federal agencies. Over half of these 65 initiatives supported solar projects exclusively; the remaining initiatives supported solar and other renewable energy technologies. The 65 initiatives exhibited a variety of key characteristics, including multiple technology advancement activities ranging from basic research to commercialization by providing funding to various types of recipients including universities, industry, and federal laboratories and researchers, primarily through grants and contracts. Agency officials reported that they obligated about $2.6 billion for the solar projects in these initiatives in fiscal years 2010 and 2011, an amount higher than in previous years, in part, because of additional funding from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The 65 solar-related initiatives are fragmented across six agencies and overlap to some degree in their key characteristics, but most agency officials reported coordination efforts to avoid duplication. The initiatives are fragmented in that they are implemented by various offices across the six agencies and address the same broad areas of national need. However, the agencies tailor their initiatives to meet their specific missions, such as DOD's energy security mission and NASA's space exploration mission. Many of the initiatives overlapped with at least one other initiative in the technology advancement activity, technology type, funding recipient, or goal. However, GAO found no clear instances of duplicative initiatives. Furthermore, officials at 57 of the 65 initiatives (88 percent) indicated that they coordinated in some way with other solar-related initiatives, including both within their own agencies and with other agencies. Such coordination may reduce the risk of duplication. Moreover, 59 of the 65 initiatives (91 percent) require applicants to disclose other federal sources of funding on their applications to help ensure that they do not receive duplicative funding.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781482771695
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 03/14/2013
Pages: 62
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.13(d)

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