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Why This Matters Renewable ocean energy has the potential to reduce global carbon emissions from fossil fuels by 500 million tons by 2050, and could also meet the energy needs of isolated communities, which may not have access to reliable electricity sources.
What GAO Found The Department of Energy (DOE) and its national labs have taken several steps to address potential barriers to technology transfer—the process of providing DOE technologies, knowledge, or expertise to other entities.
Why This Matters The U.S. nuclear energy sector faces an uncertain future. Nuclear microreactors offer the potential of faster deployment compared to conventional large reactors, but they face challenges such as limited fuel availability and greater security risks.
What GAO Found The Department of Energy (DOE) provided $2.66 billion in funding, or obligations, for 794 research and development (R&D) projects started from fiscal years 2010 through 2017 to develop advanced fossil energy technologies.
What GAO Found Three Department of Energy (DOE) program offices that GAO selected for detailed review—the offices of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Nuclear Energy, and Science—use various activities to oversee civilian research and development (R&D) investments.
What GAO Found The full extent to which research and technology development projects managed by two programs in the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation (DNN) have resulted in advanced (progressed technologies or science supporting them), transitioned...
What GAO Found For fiscal year 2015, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) authorized Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) funding limit, expressed as a percentage, was the same as the LDRD funding limit for other Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories.
What GAO Found Waterless and water-efficient fracturing technologies such as gas-based fracturing or foams have been used to reduce the use of freshwater in hydraulic fracturing operations, although the main benefit is enhanced hydrocarbon recovery.
What GAO Found In the United States, four light water small modular reactors (SMRs)—nuclear power reactors with a generating capacity of less than 300 MW of electricity—have been developed to the point that the reactor designers have begun discussing design certification and license applications...
What GAO Found The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) provided at least a total of $11 billion ($12 billion in fiscal year 2014 dollars) in research and development funding to contractors for fiscal years 2009 through 2013.