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Belfer Center: Transforming U.S. Energy Innovation

Authors: Venkatesh Narayanamurti, Matthew Bunn, Laura Diaz Anadon, Melissa Chan, Charles Jones, Ruud Kempener, Audrey Lee, Nathaniel Logar, and Gabriel Chan
November 1, 2011


This report promotes a set of recommendations to help the U.S. administration accelerate the development and deployment of low-carbon energy technologies.

The Energy Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment (ERD3) project began in 2008 with three primary, and related, goals:
(a) to develop a methodology for assessing opportunities in energy research, development, and demonstration (ERD&D) investment, and to produce a set of comprehensive recommendations for the U.S. administration's investment in ERD&D;
(b) to prepare an annual analysis of and set of recommendations for the Department of Energy's ERD&D budget, including, but not limited to, climate-change-related technologies; and
(c) to understand the private sector's current role in the carrying out and funding of ERD&D, and in the drawing of conclusions about effective structures of public-private undertakings, areas of opportunity, and strategies for international cooperation in energy technology innovation.

Over the past three years, the ERD3 project has worked to develop and to implement a methodology for designing an expanded portfolio of federal ERD&D activities; has investigated the role that the private sector and public-private partnerships play in energy innovation in the United States; has identified ways to improve the effectiveness of public energy innovation institutions; and has analyzed how the U.S. government could improve the effectiveness of its international collaboration efforts on energy innovation. This research was informed by interviews, surveys, modeling exercises, and literature reviews.

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The Hidden Risks of Energy Innovation

Author: Michael A. Levi
Issues in Science and Technology

Michael A. Levi writes that "climate change needs to be confronted," but that an overemphasis on clean technology could lead to new conflicts.