The American Enterprise Institute, the Brookings Institution and the Breakthrough Institute have released a new report, ‘Post-Partisan Power,’ which calls for revamping America's energy innovation system with the aim of making clean energy less expensive.
The report calls for increasing federal innovation investment from roughly $4 billion to $25 billion annually, and using military procurement, disciplined deployment incentives, and public-private hubs to achieve both incremental improvements and breakthroughs in clean energy technologies. The authors point to the U.S.' long history of bipartisan support for innovation.
The report includes the following recommendations:
– Secure funding necessary to complete the doubling of U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science budgets. Direct a significant portion of new funds to programs related to energy sciences, including roughly $300 million in annual funding to scale up the Energy Frontier Research Centers program over the coming years;
– Invest roughly $500 million annually to support K-12 curriculum and teacher training, energy education scholarships, post-doctoral fellowships;
– Help reform the U.S. energy innovation system by investing up to $5 billion annually to establish a robust national network of regional energy innovation institutes bringing together private sector, university and government researchers, investors, and private sector customers;
– Bring the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) to scale by providing $1.5 billion annually, while dedicating a significant portion of new funding to dual-use energy technology innovations with the potential to enhance energy security and strengthen the U.S. military; and
– Reform the nation's energy subsidies. Instead of open-ended subsidies that reward firms for producing more of the same product, employ a new strategy of competitive deployment incentives that are disciplined by cost reductions and optimized to drive steady improvements in the price and performance of a suite of emerging energy technologies.
SOURCE: The Breakthrough Institute