Business leaders issue new recommendations for federal energy R&D funding

http://bit.ly/2trdjNP

Investing in energy innovation can make the United States more globally competitive, increase economic prosperity, and maintain America’s energy leadership position in the world, according to an organization of business leaders in a new report.

According to the report, federal energy research funding continues to lag far behind government support for other fields — comprising just 2.8% of R&D funding in FY2016. In addition, the U.S. places less emphasis on energy research than other nations, with energy’s share of the total research budget in the country, ranking 22nd globally for 2015.

In its report, the American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC), originally founded in 2010 and now comprised of 10 executives in the energy, technology, and aerospace industries, makes a powerful argument for a robust federal role in energy R&D funding and recommends eight ways the federal government can effectively and efficiently spur the development of innovative energy technologies.

“We are in an increasingly competitive race with China and other nations when it comes to developing next-generation energy technologies,” said Brad Townsend, associate director of energy innovation at the Bipartisan Policy Center and staff director for AEIC. “Bringing these technologies to market is a multi-trillion dollar business opportunity, and it’s going to take robust public and private investment for America to realize the potential economic benefits.”

Among AEIC’s recommendations are:

  • To invest $16 billion a year in advanced energy innovation
  • To fund the Advance Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) ideally at $1 billion per year, but at least $300 million a year
  • To support and expand innovative institutional arrangements such as the Energy Innovation Hubs, Energy Frontier Research Centers, and the Manufacturing U.S. program
  • To establish regionally centered innovation programs
  • To support creative efforts to incentivize private-sector investment in energy research and development

Download the report here.

Windpower Engineering & Development

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