H.R. 3597 would authorize the appropriation of $1,492 million over the 2020-2024 period for the Department of Energy (DOE) to conduct research and development on solar energy systems and applications. Under the bill, DOE’s research activities would focus on alternative production and manufacturing technologies as well as methods for integrating solar systems and products into transportation, building, and other types of infrastructure. Appropriated funds also could be used to cover some of the cost of demonstration projects, including some expenses for planning, equipment, and operations. Finally, the bill would authorize the department to use grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts to implement the programs.
Based on historical spending patterns for similar activities, and assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 3597 would cost $962 million over the 2019-2024 period and $530 million after 2024. The costs of the legislation (detailed in Table 1) fall within budget function 270 (energy).