H.R. 2986 would reauthorize and expand the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) research and development (R&D) program for energy storage systems. Under the program, DOE would develop a strategic plan, conduct research, support testing and validation of energy storage systems, and provide technical assistance. The bill would authorize the appropriation of specific amounts for each year from 2020 through 2024 for those purposes. In 2020, the authorization would be $62 million. However, DOE’s Office of Electricity has allocated $55 million in 2020 for research on energy storage technologies. As a result, CBO estimates that H.R. 2986 would increase authorizations in 2020 by $7 million, the difference between the amount authorized to be appropriated in the bill and the amount allocated for that year.
The bill also would authorize the appropriation of $50 million annually through 2024 for DOE to award grants for the demonstration of energy storage systems.
Finally, H.R. 2986 would require DOE to conduct research, development, and demonstration activities to advance the recycling of energy storage systems that contain critical minerals (lithium, cobalt, nickel, graphite, etc.). Based on the cost of similar programs, CBO estimates the authorization in 2020 would be $25 million, with that amount increasing each year to account for anticipated inflation.
For this estimate, CBO assumes that the bill will be enacted in fiscal year 2020. Under that assumption, DOE could incur some costs in 2020, but CBO expects that most of the costs would be incurred in 2021 and later. Based on historical spending patterns for similar programs, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 2986 would cost $572 million over the 2020-2025 period, assuming appropriation of the authorized and estimated amounts.