Concerning energy research, the United States is falling behind the pack. Sure, we’re in the middle – quite possibly the latter stages – of an oil and gas renaissance, but the nation’s energy secure future, while paved with hydrocarbons, will increasingly rely on renewables deployment and grid innovation.
According to a new report from the American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC), a committee of six executives including Bill Gates and General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, US funding for energy research development and demonstration (RD&D) is detrimentally modest – stunting current growth and weakening the nation’s competitive advantage. The committee argues that current spending of about $5 billion annually should be tripled immediately. As a percentage of economic output, US funding lags well behind its western counterparts Canada, France, Denmark, and Norway – maybe the shining example of a hydrocarbon-fueled green state – among others.