Top Business Leaders Issue New Roadmap for Federal Clean Energy R&D Funding

Washington, D.C.–Making larger investments in energy innovation will make the United States more globally competitive, increase economic prosperity, and maintain America’s energy leadership position in the world, according to a dozen top business leaders in a new report released today.

In its report, the American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC), originally founded in 2010 and now comprised of executives in the energy, technology, chemicals and aerospace industries, makes a powerful argument for a robust federal role in energy research and development funding.

“Federal funding fills crucial gaps where the private sector does not invest and has been pivotal in facilitating some of the greatest advances in energy technology in recent years. But it is crucial to restore strong funding levels for energy R&D to ensure we can continue to innovate our energy future,” said Chad Holliday, Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell.

“Tracing the development of many modern energy technologies—including solar panels, wind turbines, advanced combustion engines, and cost-saving LED light bulbs— it’s clear that both public- and private-sector investments are crucial to facilitating the development of energy technologies across the innovation cycle.” said Dr. Wanda Austin, Former CEO and President, The Aerospace Corporation, Interim President, University of Southern California.

  • Invest $16 billion a year in advanced energy innovation.
  • Fund the Advance Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) at $1 billion per year, but at least $400 million per year in fiscal year (FY) 2020.
  • Make the Department of Energy (DOE) work smarter—along the ARPA-E model where appropriate.

“Given the new economic pressures from foreign competitors and predicted economic losses in the US due to climate change, doubling down on federal support of advanced energy innovation has never been more critical,” said Dr. Addison K. Stark, associate director of energy innovation at the Bipartisan Policy Center and staff director for AEIC. “Federal spending on energy innovation will not only enable reduced emissions, but will spur economic growth, and create jobs in new clean energy industry.”

Read the full report.