The White House is reportedly looking for a 72 per cent cut in programmes dedicated to the development of energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The Washington Post reports obtaining a draft budget document which shows the Trump administration will ask for $575.5 million in spending for the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The office’s current spending level is set at $2.04 billion for the fiscal year.
The Hill newspaper reported that in 2017, Trump sought $636.1 million in spending for the office, which Congress later rejected in support of higher numbers.

The Post reports the draft budget documents also seek staffing cuts to the office, reducing the number of workers from 680 in the 2017 budget to 450 in 2019.

In essence it could seriously halt the momentum of energy efficient decentralized energy technologies. The White House said it would not comment “on any leaked or pre-decisional documents prior to the release of the official budget.”

The office conducts research, development, grants and more aimed at developing and deploying energy efficiency and renewable technology and has played a key role in dramatically reducing the costs of solar power.

The draft documents obtained by the Post also contain sharp reductions in research spending, including an 82 percent cut to research on fuel efficient vehicles, an 82 percent cut on research into bioenergy technologies and a 78 percent cut for solar energy technology research.

It would also slash funding for research into alternative energy sources like wind, hydro and geothermal power.