The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is an office of the United States Department of Energy. The EERE focuses on research and development of alternative fuels, and the promotion of the use of these fuels. It is concerned with developing cleaner burning fuels, wind, hydro energy and other renewable energy sources, in order to break the dependency the US has on foreign oil and other non-renewable resources. As a part of this process, the agency creates tax incentives for private businesses to develop new technologies that will assist in the overall goal of creating new and cleaner energy sources. According to EERE the term "clean energy" describes energy-efficient technologies and practices that use less energy, and alternative power and delivery technologies that produce and transport power and heat more cleanly than conventional sources.
In 1971, the Nixon Administration created the Office of Energy Conservation to supplement the Department of the Interior’s coal, oil, and natural gas research and development programs. In 1973, President Nixon, responding to the energy crisis at that time, announced “Project Independence” to wean the United States from dependence on foreign energy sources. However, no serious action was actually taken. In January 1975, the Ford Administration created the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) to focus the federal government’s energy research and development activities within a unified agency that could promote the development of improved energy technologies. Congress supported this with the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975. In 1977, President Carter merged ERDA and the Federal Energy Administration and placed it within the Department of Energy. The National Energy Conservation Policy Act of 1978 strengthened the new agency’s efforts. The Reagan administration narrowed the previously mentioned programs into the EERE’s predecessor organization, the Office of Conservation and Solar Energy. Through the Energy Policy Act of 1992, Congress supported the return to applied RD&D (research, development and demonstration), using partnerships with private companies, as implemented by Bush Senior. In 2001 the office was renamed and reorganized into what is today the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Purpose and Responsibilities
On February 8, 2008, the Internal Revenue Service announced 312 projects eligible to be financed with tax-credit bonds under the Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREB) program. The following link describes all of the allocations for tax credit bonds by the IRS.
Is Biofuel Really Energy Efficient?
David T. Danielson, whose career has been devoted to promoting clean and renewable energies, was nominated in July 2011 to lead the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and confirmed by the Senate on March 29, 2012.
Cathy Zoi, President Barack Obama’s choice to serve as Assistant Secretary of Energy for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, was confirmed by the Senate June 19, 2009. She has been an advocate for more environmentally-conscious and conservation-oriented energy policy, with a long history in energy efficiency leadership.
Zoi earned a B.S. in Geology from Duke University and an M.S. in Engineering from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College.