Energy Innovation


As a co-author of the House Democrats’ Innovation Agenda in 2006 and a lead advocate for passage of the COMPETES Act in 2007, Congresswoman Eshoo was instrumental in creating the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E). This agency is modeled off of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and it funds high-risk, high-reward energy research and development projects that have the potential to produce major technology breakthroughs. ARPA-E has funded several research projects in the 18th Congressional District and Rep. Eshoo continues to fight for adequate funding for ARPA-E in the current Congress.

Electric Vehicles

Congresswoman Eshoo is one of the leading advocates in Congress for the electric vehicles (EV) and the charging infrastructure that is necessary to support this new technology. In 2014, Rep. Eshoo co-authored legislation to authorize the federal government to install EV charging stations at federal facilities. As the nation’s largest employer, the federal government should lead by example in offering workplace charging, but a quirk in the law prohibited federal agencies from constructing charging stations or even entering into contracts with third parties to build charging infrastructure. Rep. Eshoo’s bill was included in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which was signed into law in 2015.

Rep. Eshoo is also a strong supporter of the federal tax credit for electric vehicle charging stations, known as the Section 30C credit. Section 30C provides a credit of up to 30 percent of the cost of installing EV charging stations, and it is capped at $1,000 for individuals and $30,000 for businesses. This tax credit was originally created by Congress in 2005 and has been extended by Congress on a short-term basis several times. Click here to see a letter from Congresswoman Eshoo to the tax-writing Committee in the House in support of extending this important credit.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

As a strong advocate for robust funding of clean energy investments, Rep. Eshoo voted for and Congress passed the Recovery Act in 2009. The final bill included more than $80 billion to jump-start our economy and build the clean energy jobs of tomorrow. Below are examples of Department of Energy Recovery Act Investments in our Congressional District:

  • Stanford University scientists received over 300 Recovery Act awards totaling over $300 million in research funding.
  • SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, a world-renowned facility that serves 3,000 visiting scientists and students each year, received over $90 million.
  • Tesla Motors received a $465 million low-interest loan under the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program. Since closing the loan, Tesla has hired over 3,500 employees, and recently repaid the loan in full, earning $12 million in interest to the American taxpayer.
  • Energy Efficiency Grants in Information and Communication Technology: DOE announced the awarding of $47 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act under this program. More than half of the $47 million will be allocated to projects or companies located in Silicon Valley, including:
    • $9,300,000 to SeaMicro for its “Reducing Volume-Server Energy Use by Re-Architecting Server Components” project, which is estimated to save 75 percent of computing energy over conventional servers.
    • $9,921,887 to Yahoo! for its “Next Generation Passive Cooling Design for Data Centers” project, which allows data centers to use outside ambient air for cooling 99 percent of the year, instead of costly air conditioners.
    • $5,100,000 to Power Assure for its “Eliminating Wasted Energy by Automatically Powering Down Servers” project, which is estimated to save up to 50 percent of server energy use in data centers.