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Report finds opportunities for states, locals to advance clean energy innovation

February 21, 2019

A recent report by Breakthrough Energy, co-chaired by former Energy secretary Ernest Moniz, calls for a better policy approach to supporting clean energy. Their premise is that America has led the way in this industry, but that the way forward requires innovation on a greater scale than we have achieved before, and that this, in turn, requires better coordination of systems. The report makes recommendations for industry and all levels of government, and their proposals regarding regions should be particularly welcomed by the SSTI community.

Two recommendations particularly speak to state and local activity. State and local governments can facilitate demonstration projects by easing regulatory requirements for certain types of clean energy innovations. This approach would enable more technologies to become validated — or sent back to the lab — improving the development and commercialization process in the space. The report also suggests that governments and nonprofits can also do more to leverage innovation within regional industry clusters, such as by providing incentives or facilities to encourage the acceleration of new ideas and businesses.

Among the federal policy recommendations, one could be particularly impactful at a regional level: encourage national/federal labs to better support clean energy innovation in their regions. The authors would like to see labs have greater flexibility from their host organizations not only to focus more strongly on regional economic development, but also to specifically encourage clean energy innovation.

These are just a few of the dozens of recommendations in the full report, which provides a robust blueprint for any national or regional government looking to lead on the issue of clean energy.

energy, policy recommendations, innovation