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Energy Innovation on the Hill 2015

The Center for Clean Energy Innovation (CCEI), the Bipartisan Policy Center’s American Energy Innovation Council, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy hosted an informal reception to showcase some of today’s leading clean tech innovators fresh off of the annual Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Summit taking place the same week.

The annual event provided a unique space to hear from and mingle with innovators, Congressional policymakers, and energy thinkers. Attendees had the opportunity to see the latest innovative energy technologies and interact with energy researchers from SunPower, University of Tennessee, Wyss Institute at Harvard University, REL, Inc., Georgia Tech, and University of California Berkeley.

A number of leading supporters of energy innovation in Washington attended and spoke at the reception, including Dr. Ellen Williams, Director of Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, Representative Paul Tonko (D-NY), Representative Bill Foster (D-IL), and Representative Judy Chu (D-CA). Matthew Stepp, Executive Director of CCEI, Christopher Guith, Senior Vice President, U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, and Margot Anderson, Executive Director of the Energy Project at BPC also provided remarks on the importance of energy innovation for driving next-generation technology solutions to address climate change.

By |February 18th, 2015|Events|Comments Off|

President’s FY2016 Energy Innovation Budget

The President’s FY2016 Budget Request, released this week, emphasizes the need to increase investment in energy innovation through key offices and programs at the Department of Energy. Unfortunately the increases – while helpful for sustaining many basic science, research, development, and demonstration projects across technology offices and within cross-cutting initiatives for the Department – are marginal at best, and are significantly less than what is necessary to put the country at the forefront of innovating clean energy technologies to mitigate climate change.

PresRequestFY2016The President’s Request calls for increasing the budget of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) by more than 40 percent from FY2015 Omnibus levels. The budget also calls for increasing the budget for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) by 16 percent from FY2015 levels, although in real terms the FY2016 Request asks to fund ARPA-E at the same level it asked for last year – only $325 million.

While the Center for Clean Energy Innovation supports President Obama’s initiative to propose increasing energy innovation programs, it is obvious that much more dedication and prioritization of energy innovation is necessary to lead the world in developing clean energy technologies that will enable deep […]

Europe’s World – Innovation Targets

Time to Focus on Innovation Targets, Not Emissions Targets, to Fight Climate Change

Matthew Stepp and Megan Nicholson
Published January 19, 2015

The recently failed climate talks in Lima, Peru illustrate that new leadership is needed if we hope to address climate change. We should not try to coax countries into agreeing to emissions targets, but to commit to targets on clean energy innovation. In other words, nations should set goals to invest a certain amount of money in research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) to make clean energy so cheap that all businesses and consumers will voluntarily replace fossil fuels with clean energy because it makes economic sense to do so.

CCEI Comments on the State of the Union

WASHINGTON – In response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address, the Center for Clean Energy Innovation (CCEI) made the following statement:

“The President talked about carbon emissions and climate leadership, but didn’t say one word about innovating solutions that will meaningfully cool the planet. Giving a speech without substance a week after it was announced 2014 was the hottest year on record is like throwing our head in the sand. The United States must take aggressive action to spur low-carbon innovation, and fast.

To be clear, the United States has made progress. During the past six years, the President has made historic investments in clean energy innovation, took aggressive steps to counter international green mercantilism, and announced a bilateral climate deal with China that included energy innovation policies.

Unfortunately, global carbon emissions continue to rise at a dangerous pace. Clean energy costs have fallen, but not far enough so that everyone has access to affordable, clean energy. And as CCEI has argued, public investments in clean energy innovation have been cut at a time when they need to be tripled to develop the technologies we need to dramatically cut carbon.

After […]

By |January 21st, 2015|Blog, Climate Change, Federal Policy|Comments Off|

What the Cromnibus Means for Energy Innovation

The 113th U.S. Congress made passing a budget one of its last legislative acts of 2014. Yesterday President Obama signed into law the $1.1 trillion federal appropriations bill, called the Cromnibus (Continuing Resolution Omnibus), which includes appropriations for all federal agencies. While much of the bill’s public attention focused on the political opposition from factions on both the left and the right, the Cromnibus, like all federal appropriations, represent a critical pillar of U.S. clean energy innovation policy.

Federal Investments in Clean Energy Innovation Hold Steady

DOEKeyOfficesFY2015

Of course, the largest source of investments in clean energy innovation comes from the Department of Energy and its research offices. The above graph shows that the FY2015 Cromnibus bill tracks closely to the FY2015 President’s Request, and is even closer to the funding allocated through the FY2014 Omnibus. Funding for the Office of Science and the Offices of Nuclear, Fossil R&D, and Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability remained relatively unchanged compared to past years. Appropriations for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for FY2015 are $360 million lower than those included in the President’s request and $200 million below the FY2014 allocation.  The Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) […]

  • CMU students at hydraulic fracturing site.
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    Bridging the Valley of Death: Successfully Moving Energy Breakthroughs from Lab to Market

Bridging the Valley of Death: Successfully Moving Energy Breakthroughs from Lab to Market

Canon House Office Building
Room 121
C Street SE
Washington, DC 20003

Wednesday, December 10, 2014
12PM – 1:30PM

Watch the video. 

A major challenge in bringing down the cost of clean energy technologies is bridging the so-called “valley of death”—the state of technology development where many promising discoveries die because they are not sufficiently advanced to attract private sector partners or venture funding even though they may hold tremendous potential impact. This problem plagues a host of clean energy technologies, such as next-gen solar and advanced batteries, and it is the source of considerable policy debate and program experimentation.

But some universities and research laboratories are advancing their technology transfer capabilities to try and address the valley of death. For example, Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) faculty and students have leveraged their technology transfer prowess to spin out more than 130 companies over the past five years and have attracted approximately $400 million of outside investment. In addition, CMU is a leading research center for breakthrough energy technology development.

Please join the Center for Clean Energy Innovation and Carnegie Mellon University’s Scott Institute for Energy Innovation to learn how CMU is trying to bridge the valley of death and how its efforts can translate to other […]

By |December 1st, 2014|Events|Comments Off|
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    CCEI Praises Introduction of Microlab Technology Commercialization Act

CCEI Praises Introduction of Microlab Technology Commercialization Act

WASHINGTON (November 19, 2014) –Following the introduction of the Microlab Technology Commercialization Act of 2014 (MTCA) by U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Matthew Stepp, Executive Director of ITIF’s Center for Clean Energy Innovation (CCEI) issues the following statement:

“As CCEI and the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program noted in Going Local: Connecting the National Labs to their Regions for Innovation and Growth, the Department of Energy’s National Laboratory system is a tremendous resource that currently conducts $12.5 billion in publicly funded R&D annually on a wide range of national issues, including high performance computing, energy innovation and advanced manufacturing. Unfortunately, legacy operating procedures limit the Labs’ ability to successfully transfer technologies from research to market, while also reducing engagement with the regional economies in which they are located. This environment has limited the system’s ability to promote transformative innovation and reduced its overall contributions to U.S. economic growth.

The MTCA would assist in addressing this policy gap through the establishment of off-campus micro labs that would serve as the “front-door” to the nation’s various national laboratories. They would provide academia, local government, businesses owners, and communities’ direct access to laboratory equipment, facilities, and personnel, while also increasing community engagement and partnership […]

CCEI Commends U.S.-China Climate and Innovation Agreement

WASHINGTON – (November 12, 2014) The Center for Clean Energy (CCEI) commends the United States and China’s joint agreement to advance more ambitious carbon reductions through 2030. The announcement opens the door to more meaningful, innovation-based international climate negotiations, set to conclude in Paris at the end of 2015.

Most importantly, the agreement shows prioritization by both the United States and China to expand collaborative investments in clean energy innovation through joint carbon capture and sequestration pilot projects, smart grid projects, and the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC). Increasing investments in international demonstration projects and research collaborations are vital for reducing costs and improving performance of zero-carbon energy technology options, which are imperative to successfully transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy without hurting the global economy.

“This announcement is a major step forward in international climate negotiations, not necessarily because of the top-line carbon cuts, but because of the underlying agreement to strengthen collaboration on clean energy innovation,” says Matthew Stepp, Executive Director of CCEI, an affiliate research institute of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). “The agreement makes clear that advancing clean energy innovation and making bolder cuts in carbon come hand in hand. It’s a model […]

By |November 14th, 2014|Blog, Climate Change, Energy Technologies, International Policy|Comments Off|

The Hill – Better Buildings Challenge

How the DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge is Pushing Deep Decarbonization

Matthew Stepp
Published November 10, 2014

The Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge is driving building owners to reach beyond low-hanging fruit in favor of more transformative, deep-decarbonization goals.

By |November 10th, 2014|Climate Change, Energy Technologies, Federal Policy, Op-ed|Comments Off|

Christian Science Monitor – Energy Poverty

Slow Climate Change or End Energy Poverty? Let’s Do Both

Kara Goolman and Megan Nicholson
Published November 6, 2014

The goal of curbing global greenhouse gas emissions can sometimes appear at odds with efforts to expand electricity access to the 1.3 billion around the world without it. But it is feasible to make progress on both fronts if policymakers properly address energy innovation as part of a global climate strategy.

By |November 10th, 2014|Climate Change, Federal Policy, International Policy, Op-ed|Comments Off|