OVERVIEW: Energizing America:
A Roadmap to Launch a National Energy Innovation Mission
Clean energy innovation is central to the fight against climate change. To rise to this challenge, the United States should launch a National Energy Innovation Mission, accelerating energy transitions around the world and building job-creating industries at home. Led by the President and authorized by Congress, this mission should harness the nation’s unmatched innovative capabilities—at research universities, federal laboratories, and private firms (both large and small), in all regions of the country. To jumpstart this mission and unlock a virtuous cycle of public and private investment, the US federal government should triple its funding for energy research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) over the next five years to $25 billion by 2025.
The National Energy Innovation Mission would open a new chapter in the storied history of US innovation. Federal funding has accelerated the development of life-saving drugs, modernized the military’s arsenal, and put a man on the Moon. Recognizing the twin imperatives of fighting climate change and boosting US competitiveness, the federal government should elevate energy innovation as a core national priority and fund it accordingly.
Although a growing bipartisan chorus is calling for more ambitious public investment in clean energy innovation, no detailed roadmap exists for how Congress and federal agencies can most effectively increase funding. Energizing America fills that gap. Building on their deep academic, business, and senior government experience, the authors have surveyed the scholarly literature, distilled decades of US historical experience, drawn on dozens of legislative proposals, and assembled the most up-to-date database of federal clean energy RD&D funding. They offer policymakers a strategic framework to build a growing RD&D portfolio over the next five years, detailed funding proposals across the full spectrum of critical energy technologies, and recommendations for immediate action. Energizing America is a comprehensive guide for the next administration and Congress to invest in a clean energy technology revolution.