Program Funding History

Like all of the renewable fuels programs, the ASP has always been on a fiscal roller coaster

In its heyday, this program leaped to levels of $2 to $2.75 million in annual funding. In most cases, these peaks came in sudden bursts in which the funding level of the program would double from one year to the next. After the boom years of 1984 and 1985, funding fell rapidly to its low of $250,000 in 1991. The last three years of the program saw a steady level of $500,000 (not counting FY 1996, which were mostly used to cover the cost of employee terminations). Ironically, these last three years were among the most productive in the history of the program (given the breakthroughs that occurred in genetic engineering). Though funding levels were

A Look Back at the Aquatic Species Program—Program Summary relatively low, they were at least steady—providing a desperately needed stability for the program. The years of higher spending are, for the most part, dominated by costly demonstration work (the tests carried out in California, Hawaii and culminating in New Mexico), engineering analysis and culture collection activities.

High Return for a Small Investment of DOE Funds

1978198019821984198619881990199219941996

The total cost of the Aquatic Species Program is $25.05 million over a twenty-year period. Compared to the total spending under the Biofuels Program ($458 million over the same period), this has not been a high cost research program. At its peak, ASP accounted for 14% of the annual Biofuels budget; while, on average, it represented only 5.5% of the total budget. Given that relatively small investment, DOE has seen a tremendous return on its research dollars.

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