That means system approaches will be necessary to develop "World Bank-scale" economic development projects transforming local and regional renewable energy, energy efficiency, infrastructure, transportation, buildings, as well as the regulatory environment.
NASA, for instance, is developing personal rapid transportation modules at its Ames Research facility in California. This technology can greatly reduce greenhouse gases (soon to be regulated by the US EPA) and reliance on foreign oil (DOE), while providing jobs in management, design, manufacturing and construction.
In terms of NOAA, some of the impacts of climate change are already becoming apparent. This agency's research on actual and forecast climate change effects can inform the design and adaptation of everything from energy systems, to buildings and entire developments, as well as the nation's energy grid.
Among the sustainability funding currently available in the measure's current form:
- $14.3-18 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy, including $7 in federal green building upgrades and $6.5 billion upgrading the grid for energy efficiency and to accommodate transmission from increased renewable
- $2.1 billion (out of $4.2 billion) in new federal block grants for coalitions of local government awarded by the Department of Energy as part of a green project competition. These local governments would need to be in states that meet certain federal energy efficiency standards.
- $6 billion in DOE loan guarantees for research or production of alternative fuels such as celluosic ethanol and biomass energy
- funding for 20-30 communities with populations of more than 100,000 as part of the US Environmental Protection Agency's new "Premier Communities" program
- About $2 billion for clean technologies development as part of a competitive "Clean Counties" program, again managed by the Department of Energy.