Moniz promises infrastructure review by end of month 

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Department of Energy has recently completed interagency work on its Quadrennial Energy Review, which will focus on infrastructure needs, and plans to release the document by the end of this month, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said today.

Among other areas, the review will focus on the needs of the electric grid to improve security and reliability as well as problems associated with methane emissions from natural gas pipelines and storage facilities, Moniz said.

“It will be a major … exposure of the situation with regard to energy infrastructure [and] identification of the needs and recommendations for going forward,” Moniz said.

Outlining his department’s budget request today, Moniz highlighted proposals aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting the new technology energy companies will need to comply with Obama administration regulations aimed at combating climate change.

“Supporting the president’s Climate Action Plan, moving to a low-carbon future, is a really important part of that,” Moniz said at a budget briefing this afternoon, referring to the $10.7 billion request for energy and science programs at the Department of Energy.

Moniz said the United States will hit an important milestone this year in reaching 10 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions and promised that carbon capture and sequestration would remain a focus for the department. In particular, he said the budget request for DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy envisions a new initiative focused on CCS for natural gas facilities, and he touted a separate request from the Treasury Department to establish a new investment tax credit for CCS systems.

“This is part of a coordinated approach from technology to tax incentives to get carbon capture and sequestration moving along,” Moniz said during the briefing from DOE headquarters in Washington, D.C.

DOE also plans to “aggressively” use the remaining authority to distribute loan guarantees for low-emissions energy technologies, Moniz said, pointing to various existing solicitations underway at the loan program office. DOE is soliciting applications for an $8 billion pool of loan guarantees for emissions-reducing fossil energy technology, among others, and it has an existing $4 billion solicitation for renewables or energy efficiency.