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Federal support needed for energy innovation

April 20, 2017

Innovation in the energy sector requires strong leadership from the federal government to help mitigate potential risks, according to a recent report by the American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC), a project of the Bipartisan Policy Center. The AEIC is a group of ten private sector leaders that includes Bill Gates, the heads of industry giants like Dominion Energy and Southern Company, and retired leaders of corporations such as Lockheed Martin and DuPont. Unlike many industries, the energy sector has suffered from an underinvestment in R&D, according to AEIC’s The Power of Innovation report. This has led to considerable challenges not seen in other industries. To spur energy innovation in the energy sector, AEIC recommends building on previous efforts to develop a national energy strategy. They recommend investing $16 billion a year in advanced energy innovation, and funding ARPA-E at anywhere from $300 million to $1 billion per year. Additionally, the authors recommend establishing a New Energy Challenge Program for innovative pilot projects.

energy, dept of energy