The EIT database has been compiled using only publicly available data from US government websites and the source of each item is identified in the database by its URL. Investments captured in the Tracker reflect fiscal year appropriations.
Lacking an overall US energy innovation roadmap for national investments means that we have almost surely missed some worthy programs or projects. Please contact us if you have suggestions or questions the data currently captured. The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page includes descriptions of how we handled a number of specific situations that showed up in the data gathering.
The EIT database will be updated regularly, and each version will be assigned a version number representing the date that the database was updated.
The EIT categorizes projects by investment type, technology, and innovation phase. Investment type describes whether the investment is through direct spending, tax expenditure, or loan programs. The technology dimension indicates the technological focus of the project, and has two levels, a broad category (e.g. Electricity) and a more detailed sub-category (e.g. Solar). The innovation phase dimension indicates which part of the innovation cycle the project involves (e.g. R&D), and if applicable a sub-category specifies the technology generation of that investment (e.g. Emerging Technology).
Direct Spending: Investment made available through federally appropriated funds by fiscal year
Tax Expenditure: Federal expense on tax credits and incentives; counted by fiscal year according to the U.S. Treasury
Loan Program: Temporary financing of debt; federal appropriations are designed to cover expected losses upon default (called “subsidy cost”), but the Tracker captures by-project loan amounts. (Subsidy cost for 2009-2012 period for the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program was $7.5 billion; subsidy cost for 2009-2012 period for the Title 17 Section 1703 Loan Program was $169 million; subsidy cost for 2009-2011 period for the Title 17 Section 1705 Loan Program was $4 billion.)
Each EIT entry is classified into technology and sub-technology categories, which are used to provide more specificity whenever possible. Note that in some cases a top-level category is assigned, but Uncategorized is used for the sub-category. The following are the five top-level technology categories with possible sub-technology categories:
Buildings: Efficiency; Solar Heating
Electricity: Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS); Coal; Fuel Cells; Geothermal; Grid; Hydro; Natural Gas; Nuclear; Solar; Storage; Waste Heat; Wave Power; Wind; Uncategorized
Fuels: Biofuels; Direct Solar; Efficiency; Hydrogen; Natural Gas; Petroleum; Uncategorized
Industry: Efficiency; Uncategorized
Transportation: Efficiency; Electric Motors; Internal Combustion Engines; Natural Gas; Uncategorized
Uncategorized is used to indicate that we were unable to further categorize the project for some reason. There are three common reasons:
- The project description was unclear.
- The project clearly applies to more than one category or sub-category
- The money is set to be distributed as grants, and the grants have not yet been awarded yet
There are seven major innovation phases. They are defined as:
Basic Science - Fundamental science (i.e. chemistry, biology, physics, etc.) that enables a class of solutions without obvious commercial value.
Research and Development - Research of specific designs or technologies to address explicit technological need; includes prototyping.
Demonstration - A full-scale operating model of a new technology, intended to show its practical utility to potential users and to gather data on its technical and economic characteristics under realistic conditions; applies to first-of-kind technologies and systems
Siting and Permitting - Technical and regulatory assistance and support for planning and management within current policies
Training and Education – Education and training related to energy technologies targeted at anything from science to deployment
Deployment - Installation and use of a technology or equipment on a substantial scale that helps apply technological innovations at a large scale; creates economies of scale for that technology. Applies to deployment of emerging and commercial off-the-shelf technologies
Procurement - Acquisition of energy technologies by the federal government. Applies to procurement of emerging and commercial off-the-shelf technologies
There are two technology generation categories that can apply to deployed and procured technologies. They are defined as:
Emerging Technology - Nascent technologies being introduced to commercial markets for the first time
Commercial Off-the-Shelf Technology - Technologies that are readily available in commercial markets