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New AEIC Report Recommends DOE Combine Loan and Demonstration Offices, Jumpstart American Clean Energy Deployment

Washington, DC – Today the American Energy Innovation Council, a group of leading CEOs, technology, and labor leaders dedicated to expanding U.S. energy innovation, released a new report focused on the Department of Energy, including the new Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, and its approach to energy innovation and commercialization with specific recommendations to bridge existing gaps that will help unlock major new clean energy advancements.

The report, Scaling Innovation: A Proposed Framework for Scaling Energy Demonstrations and Early Deployment, reviews the history of large-scale energy demonstration, identifies disincentives for private sector engagement, and suggests a new approach for supercharging energy demonstration and deployment by combining these functions under unified leadership.

AEIC commissioned a series of case studies and brought together a working group of entrepreneurs and experts from industry, finance, academia, and government to provide insights and ideas for successfully moving technologies through the demonstration and early deployment stages.

According to Norm Augustine, AEIC co-chair and former chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin, “In this report, AEIC explored the challenge of how to best combine the strengths of the government and the strengths of industry, neither of which can carry energy technologies forward to operation in the energy arena alone, but together have all the necessary ingredients. This report proposes a model that achieves this goal.”

The report recommendations focus on first, strengthening the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s SCALEUP program, and second, the establishment of a new wholly owned government corporation—the Energy Demonstration and Finance Corporation—equipped to support large-scale demonstration and early deployment of the new technologies needed for decarbonization. The new EDFC would combine the DOE’s new Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations and its existing Loan Programs Office while providing additional tools and flexibilities to accelerate its impact.

“Since its inception, AEIC has focused on how to address the challenges associated with commercial scale demonstration of advanced energy technologies,” said Chad Holliday, AEIC co-chair and former chairman of Royal Dutch Shell. “Our latest recommendations emphasize the need for the right model, in addition to the resources themselves, that can help to effectively spend demonstration and deployment funding to fill gaps in the innovation pipeline.”

“One of the critical gaps in the energy innovation pipeline is between technology demonstration and deployment,” said Dr. Arun Majumdar, AEIC member and founding director of ARPA-E. “Our report proposes a new de-risking approach to more rapidly transition from demonstration projects to clean energy technology deployment at large scale by the private sector.”

Read the Report

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