Energy innovation and American technological leadership has been a big point of focus in energy policy circles over the past decade. There exists a variety of strategies and plans to drive and support energy innovation, each informed by a combination of history, political and economic ideology, and circumstance, but none of them seem to have taken hold yet.
Many advocate government investments in R&D, often differing on which technologies or research areas deserve funding, while others promote a more hands-off role that would see government lift the regulations that many believe stifle private sector investment and innovation. Some advocate pricing CO2 and relying on the market to make technological adjustments, and others advocate a focused, “Manhattan Project” type approach to energy innovation complete with big goals and dedicated funding.
What’s your plan to spur energy innovation? If you were responsible for drafting and implementing a national energy innovation program, what choices would you make? What trade-offs would your plan entail? How would you fund it? What outcomes would you expect?