America's Energy Future

Research

Reports

( PDF ) Catalyzing American Ingenuity: The Role of Government in Energy Innovation —2011

Building on our previous report, this update highlights the need for an active government role in energy innovation, recommends ways to improve the effectiveness of government innovation programs, and highlights options to pay for energy innovation investments.

America has a great deal to gain from smart, ambitious innovation investments in the energy sector.

( PDF ) A Business Plan for America’s Energy Future —2010

The Business Plan calls for a scale-up in clean energy investment and systemic reforms to create jobs, address national security concerns, and solve environmental challenges.

It is time we invent our future.


 

Case Studies

( HTML | PDF ) Case Study: Public-Private Partnerships in Vehicle Technologies — 2014

We find that, while the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles, the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership, and U.S. DRIVE are popularly thought of as three discrete efforts undertaken by different presidential administrations, they are more accurately described as a single, evolving and expanding partnership. All three partnerships maintained a diverse R&D portfolio and allocated substantial resources to all four major vehicle technology areas. We find that the partnerships account for a steady increase in technological accomplishments and progress toward performance, reliability and cost targets for batteries, fuel cells, and other key enabling technologies for advanced light-duty vehicles.

( HTML | PDF ) Case Study: Aeroderivative Gas Turbines — 2013

The development of aeroderivative gas turbines is inseparable from the development of aircraft engines, which was led by the military and bolstered by the rise of commercial aviation. Industry-government partnerships to advance aircraft engine technology have driven the evolution of aeroderivative gas turbines through several mechanisms: competitive military procurement, military R&D management, technology testing and validation, and public-private partnerships.

( HTML | PDF ) Case Study: Unconventional Gas Exploration & Production — 2013

While the private sector has driven the continuous improvements and breakthroughs in exploration and production technologies for unconventional natural gas, unconventional gas production through these combined techniques became commonplace only in the 1990s after years of federal support and further innovations. The federal government substantively aided private efforts in several ways: basic science and resource mapping; coordinating and complementing industry efforts; applied research and development; and tax credits for unconventional gas.

( HTML | PDF ) Case Study: Advanced Diesel Internal Combustion Engines — 2013

The diesel engine was invented in the 1890s, but it only began to play a major role in the U.S. economy during and after construction of the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s. Following the 1973 oil embargo, the government placed a new emphasis on technological development to improve fuel efficiency and reduce dependence on foreign oil. Over the following decades, there were three main mechanisms by which the government supported the improvement of diesel engines: performing basic combustion research, creating engine simulation tools, and establishing research partnerships.

( HTML | PDF ) Case Study: Low-emissivity Windows — 2013

Since the 1970s, the government has used four primary mechanisms to drive low‑e window technology development and commercialization: basic research and seed investments; computer tools for simulating window performance; standardized testing procedures and performance ratings; and educational outreach to manufacturers and consumers.

( HTML | PDF ) Unleashing Private Sector Energy R&D: Insights from Interviews with 17 R&D Leaders — 2013

American business relies on innovation as a core driver of success. So, how do our most successful businesses manage innovation, and what is the role of national policy in enhancing private sector R&D? For this study, we interviewed top R&D executives at some of the largest and most innovative companies in America. Their insights shed light on how to integrate research and development into a successful business model. They also reveal how government and business can work together to accelerate innovation and solve America’s energy challenges.

America's Energy Future