Washington, DC [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) submitted the Department’s $23.6 billion spending plan to Congress for Fiscal Year (FY) 2007, a $45 million (0.2%) increase over the FY’07 request, as a result of the FY’07 Continuing Resolution.The spending plan will allow DOE to continue making marked progress in achieving President Bush’s goal of bringing more clean energy sources to market. The FY’07 spending plan emphasizes investment in alternative fuel technologies, as put forth in President Bush’s American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI) and Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI), announced in his 2006 State of the Union Address. This plan also allocates resources that will contribute to President Bush’s Twenty in Ten Initiative, which builds upon the President’s AEI by seeking to reduce U.S. gasoline consumption by 20 percent in ten years, a proposal that requests Congress mandate a fuels standard to require 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels in 2017. DOE’s spending plan includes $1.5 billion for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. This boost in funding shows strong support for the AEI, and expands key programs that focus on developing new energy choices, notably biomass and solar; vehicle technologies and; building codes and appliance standards. DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), located in Golden, Colorado, should also receive a major boost. NREL serves as DOE’s primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. Targeted increases at NREL include $20 million for its biorefinery researching ethanol; $16 million for advanced thin-film photovoltaic manufacturing equipment to reduce the cost of solar panels; and $63 million to build a research facility on the campus. (Another $7 million is allocated for operational costs per related article below.) Other parts of the plan address the President’s $2 billion commitment to “clean coal” technologies, fusion energy, safe cleanup of our Cold War-era nuclear facilities, and a pursuit of making nuclear energy a more integral part of our nation’s energy mix, and others.