Articles

63 Items

an operator inspects a photolithography tool used to manufacture these solar cells.

Daniel Derkacs/SolarJunction

Journal Article - Research Policy

Governments as Partners: The Role of Alliances in U.S. Cleantech Startup Innovation

Accelerating innovation in clean energy technologies is a policy priority for governments around the world aiming to mitigate climate change and to provide affordable energy. Most research has focused on the role of governments financing R&D and steering market demand, but there is a more limited understanding of the role of direct government interactions with startups across all sectors. The authors  propose and evaluate the value-creation mechanisms of network resources from different types of partners for startups, highlighting the unique resources of government partners for cleantech startups. 

research web line in a hydrogen materials lab

Dennis Schroeder / NREL

Journal Article - Nature Energy

Rescue US Energy Innovation

President Trump has proposed severe cuts to US government spending on energy research, development and demonstration, but Congress has the 'power of the purse' and can rescue US energy innovation. If serious cuts are enacted, the pace of innovation will slow, harming the economy, energy security and global environmental quality.

Scientists at DOE's Sandia National Labs.

Sandia Labs/DOE

Journal Article - Nature Energy

The Pressing Energy Innovation Challenge of the US National Laboratories

Accelerating the development and deployment of energy technologies is a pressing challenge. Doing so will require policy reform that improves the efficacy of public research organizations and strengthens the links between public and private innovators. With their US$14 billion annual budget and unique mandates, the US National Laboratories have the potential to critically advance energy innovation, yet reviews of their performance find several areas of weak organizational design. This article discusses the challenges the National Laboratories face in engaging the private sector, increasing their contributions to transformative research, and developing culture and management practices to better support innovation. The authors also offer recommendations for how policymakers can address these challenges.

teaser image

Journal Article - Climatic Change

Expert Views — and Disagreements — About the Potential of Energy Technology R&D

| June 2016

In order to make R&D funding decisions to meet particular goals, such as mitigating climate change or improving energy security, or to estimate the social returns to R&D, policy makers need to combine the information provided in this study on cost reduction potentials with an analysis of the macroeconomic implications of these technological changes. The authors conclude with recommendations for future directions on energy expert elicitations.

Journal Article - Environmental Science and Technology

Regional Water Implications of Reducing Oil Imports with Liquid Transportation Fuel Alternatives in the United States

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is among the cornerstone policies created to increase U.S. energy independence by using biofuels. Although greenhouse gas emissions have played a role in shaping the RFS, water implications are less understood. We demonstrate a spatial, life cycle approach to estimate water consumption of transportation fuel scenarios, including a comparison to current water withdrawals and drought incidence by state. The water consumption and land footprint of six scenarios are compared to the RFS, including shale oil, coal-to-liquids, shale gas-to-liquids, corn ethanol, and cellulosic ethanol from switchgrass.

Journal Article - Environmental Research Letters

The Future Costs of Nuclear Power Using Multiple Expert Elicitations: Effects of RD&D and Elicitation Design

| July-September 2013

Characterization of the anticipated performance of energy technologies to inform policy decisions increasingly relies on expert elicitation. Knowledge about how elicitation design factors impact the probabilistic estimates emerging from these studies is, however, scarce. We focus on nuclear power, a large-scale low-carbon power option, for which future cost estimates are important for the design of energy policies and climate change mitigation efforts. We use data from three elicitations in the USA and in Europe and assess the role of government research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) investments on expected nuclear costs in 2030.

Dong Energy's Nick Brodigan on an offshore wind turbine's base platform, Gunfleet Sands Wind Farm off the coast of Brightlingsea, Essex, Apr. 24, 2009. The Carbon Trust launched a global competition for new designs of offshore wind turbine foundations.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Research Policy

Missions-oriented RD&D Institutions in Energy Between 2000 and 2010: A Comparative Analysis of China, the United Kingdom, and the United States

| December 2012

By analyzing the institutions that have been created to stimulate energy technology innovation in the United States, the United Kingdom, and China—three countries with very different sizes, political systems and cultures, natural resources, and histories of involvement in the energy sector—this article highlights how variations in national objectives and industrial and political environments have translated into variations in policy.

President Barack Obama shares the podium with MIT's Susan Hockfield and Paul Holland of Serious Materials during the President's remarks on investments in clean energy and new technology, March 23, 2009, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

White House Photo

Journal Article - Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change

Trends in Investments in Global Energy Research, Development, and Demonstration

| May/June 2011

Recent national trends in investments in global energy research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) are inconsistent around the world. Public RD&D investments in energy are the metric most commonly used in international comparative assessments of energy-technology innovation, and the metric employed in this article. Overall, the data indicate that International Energy Agency (IEA) member country government investments have been volatile: they peaked in the late 1970s, declined during the subsequent two decades, bottomed out in 1997, and then began to gradually grow again during the 2000s.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, left, and Israeli-U.S. entrepreneur, Shai Agassi, founder a project developing electric cars and a network of charging points, next to an electric car and its charging station in Jerusalem, Oct. 22, 2009.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Innovations

Energy for Change: Introduction to the Special Issue on Energy & Climate Change

| Fall 2009

"Without energy, there is no economy. Without climate, there is no environment. Without economy and environment, there is no material well-being, no civil society, no personal or national security. The overriding problem associated with these realities, of course, is that the world has long been getting most of the energy its economies need from fossil fuels whose emissions are imperiling the climate that its environment needs."

The SkyTrough using ReflecTech Mirror Film instead of heavy, fragile, & expensive curved glass mirrors is unveiled in Arvada, Colo., Oct. 6, 2008. This technology was developed with the U.S. Dept. of National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Issues in Science and Technology

Transforming Energy Innovation

"The United States must change the way it produces and uses energy by shifting away from its dependence on imported oil and coal-fired electricity and by increasing the efficiency with which energy is extracted, captured, converted, and used if it is to meet the urgent challenges facing the energy system, of which climate change and energy security are the most pressing. This will require the improvement of current technologies and the development of new transformative ones, particularly if the transition to a new energy system is going to be timely and cost-effective."