GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
Since 2009, the Department of Energy has invested $1.1 billion in 11 projects to show how carbon dioxide emissions from coal-power and industrial facilities could be captured and stored.
DOE initially committed to 8 coal projects, mostly new power plants with carbon-capture equipment.
Since 2004, the federal government has offered a tax credit that supports the production of refined coal, which could help reduce air pollution. Producers claimed nearly $9 billion in these credits since 2010.
This Spotlight examines evolving solar cell technology. Most electricity-generating solar cells are made with crystalline silicon in a process that is complex, expensive, and energy-intensive. Alternative materials may perform better and be easier and cheaper to make.
Research and development has been essential in the Department of Energy's efforts to clean up significant contamination from decades of nuclear weapons production, but over time DOE has reduced funding designated for cleanup R&D.
The National Nuclear Security Administration in the Department of Energy is responsible for the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile. NNSA relies on 7 contractors to manage and operate its 8 lab and production sites.
There are about 86,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel from commercial reactors stored at 75 U.S. sites. This amount continues to grow. Policymakers have been at an impasse over what to do with the spent fuel since the licensing of the Yucca Mountain repository stopped in 2010.
The nation's grid delivers electricity that is essential for our modern life.
However, risks such as extreme weather, cyberattacks, and electromagnetic events like solar storms can damage our electrical infrastructure (like power lines) and communications systems.
Each year, we make more than 1,000 recommendations to help improve the federal government. We alert department heads to where they can save the most money, address issues on our High Risk List, or significantly improve government operations.
The National Nuclear Security Administration relies on contractors to help maintain a safe, secure, and reliable nuclear stockpile.
NNSA requires its contractors to adhere to federal, state, and local regulations.