Congress Backs Energy Research in the Omnibus

By Brad Townsend This week, the House and Senate passed an omnibus appropriations bill to fund the government through September 30. While this stopgap funding agreement averts a shutdown in the near term, it sets the stage for discussions on the FY2018 budget to begin in earnest.  This most recent agreement provides much needed resources[…]

General Motors & NREL R&D Collaboration Follows in Steps of Past Energy Innovation Partnership Success

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently announced that it will partner with General Motors (GM) to reduce automotive fuel cell costs through manufacturing research and development. NREL will work with GM to address current complications to next-generation fuel cell electric vehicles such as achieving high power densities, understanding the implication of contaminants for fuel[…]

AEIC Principal Bill Gates on the Need for “Energy Miracles”

Yesterday, AEIC Principal and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates addressed the challenges of our global energy future on its current trajectory. With global greenhouse gas emissions rising and energy demand growing worldwide, Gates concludes innovation is critical to make clean energy technology affordable enough for the whole world to use. The U.S. government has made contributions[…]

AEIC releases case study on public-private partnerships in vehicle technology development

AEIC staff release case study on public-private partnerships for vehicle technologies

To relieve American dependence on oil, the federal government invests in innovations to make vehicles more efficient and developing alternatives to oil, primarily through broad collaborative R&D partnerships between the federal government and U.S. automakers and fuel providers. While the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (1993-2002), the FreedomCAR and Fuels partnership (2002-2011), and[…]

Cost Reduction of Silicon Solar

Clean energy innovation and deployment policies work best in concert

Recently, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation’s (ITIF) released its report, “Challenging the Clean Energy Deployment Consensus.” Provocative in tone, the report argues that a transition to a low-carbon energy system requires the development of new energy technologies that are much less expensive than the existing suite of clean energy technologies. The report concludes with[…]

AEIC releases case study on the government role in gas turbine technology development

AEIC staff release case study on government role in gas turbine development

When the US government spurred the development of jet engines during and after World War II, no one guessed that decades later the same technology would be adapted for electricity generation. Today, gas turbine derived from jet engines–called “aeroderivative” gas turbines–provide flexibility for managing peak electricity demand and integrating increasing levels of variable wind and[…]

Public Energy R&D Spending, 1978-2009

Four charts that show the U.S. spends too little on energy research

At his confirmation hearing last week, Energy Secretary nominee Ernest Moniz told the Senate that the United States spends far too little on energy R&D. “We are underinvesting by a factor of three,” he said, directly citing AEIC’s previous statements. Indeed, although U.S. energy R&D has been growing in recent years, levels are still below[…]

AEIC releases 3 cases on the government role in energy technology innovation

AEIC staff release case studies on government role in energy innovation

In the last half century, American companies have developed the technologies and established the businesses that shape the world’s energy systems today. American companies have led in energy innovation in large part because they are supported by our federal government’s commitment to driving innovation. Acting as a catalyst or instigator, the federal government can quicken[…]


ARPA-e provides catalytic funding for energy innovation

Republicans are praising a clean energy program supported by President Obama for a reason. ARPA-e is about catalytic funding of energy innovation–small grants that help develop promising new high-risk, high-reward technologies. ARPA-e’s employees themselves are on time-limited assignments, helping the agency avoid bureaucratic stasis that can affect other government R&D. And the funding is spread[…]