Clean Energy Innovation Report Identifies Breakthrough Technologies

Research led by IHS Markit vice chairman and Pulitzer Prize winner,
Daniel Yergin and Energy Futures Initiative Chief Executive Officer and
former U.S. Secretary of Energy, Ernest J. Moniz provides an overview of
the challenges and opportunities in the U.S. clean energy innovation

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A new report on clean energy innovation headed by two of the world’s
leading energy experts assesses the state of the clean energy innovation
ecosystem in the U.S. and identifies clean energy technologies with the
highest breakthrough potential.

The report—led by former U.S. Secretary of Energy and Energy Futures
Initiative founder, Ernest J. Moniz and IHS Markit vice chairman Daniel
Yergin—evaluates ways to maintain U.S. leadership in clean energy
innovation by better aligning the policies, players and programs that
will drive technologies that can keep the nation globally competitive.
The report, entitled Advancing
the Landscape of Clean Energy Innovation
, was commissioned by
Breakthrough Energy.

The report assesses energy technologies based on four criteria—technical
merit, market viability, compatibility with other energy systems and
consumer value.

The report identifies the key innovation pathways that are necessary to
maintaining U.S. leadership in clean energy. Among them: increased and
better targeted public investment across all stages of innovation—from
fundamental research through commercial scale demonstration; a research
and investment portfolio embracing multiple technology options; and a
strengthened role for states, cities and tribal governments in the
innovation process.

The report also finds that disciplined public-private partnerships are
needed across the innovation value chain and recommends that the private
sector step up its innovation investment from the savings created by the
2017 tax cut law, with a particular focus on testing facilities for
product demonstration. The report recommends that the U.S. Department of
Energy (DOE) further revise its fuel-centric organizational structure,
an artifact of its establishment after the oil embargoes of the 1970s,
to reflect the essential role electricity plays in fuel infrastructure
driving the U.S. economy.

The report examines a broad list of technologies related to the areas of
energy supply (electricity and fuels), energy application (industrial,
transportation and buildings) and cross-cutting technology areas
(including large-scale carbon management, advanced materials and
high-performance computing). From this broad list the report identifies
10 high-priority clean energy innovation areas:

  • Storage and battery technologies
  • Advanced nuclear reactors
  • Hydrogen
  • Advanced manufacturing technologies
  • Building energy technologies
  • Electric grid modernization and smart cities
  • Large-scale carbon management
  • Carbon capture, use and storage
  • Sunlight to fuels
  • Biological sequestration

Achieving accelerated innovation can be challenging given that clean
energy systems are highly capitalized and provide our society with
essential, indispensable services, the report notes. This combination
leads to considerable inertia and risk aversion and underscores the
inherent tension between the energy incumbents and the technology

The report says that greater coordination between all these stakeholders
is required to create the conditions for commercial adoption of
groundbreaking clean energy technologies.

“We are now undergoing rapid change in the global competitive
environment, challenging America’s preeminent position but also offering
immense opportunity for shaping the inevitable low-carbon global energy
future,” said Moniz. “These technologies provide an actionable framework
for prioritizing public resources and inspiring private innovation.”

“Today’s world is the product of energy transitions that have taken
place over the past 300 years. The resulting and current energy systems
are extremely complex and interdependent. They are the product of many
decades of investment, infrastructure development, innovative
engineering and efficiency improvement. They evolve incrementally, and
it takes many decades for major changes to occur,” said Daniel Yergin.
“Continued innovation of these systems will require purposeful
coordination among all the players involved.”

The report notes that clean energy innovation is critical for national
economic strength, competitiveness, security and for addressing
effectively the challenges of climate change.

It concludes that longstanding U.S. leadership in this area will be
maintained only if the existing ecosystem in strengthened.

“The relationship between our national research labs, universities, the
private sector and government on all levels has made the United States
the driver of energy innovation for some 70 years,” said Moniz. “Today
our leadership position is now under threat as our economic rivals
pursue their own modernization programs. Our report offers a roadmap for
accelerating clean energy development in the U.S.”

About the report:

The full report, Advancing the Landscape of Clean Energy Innovation
is available for download at

The study was produced by IHS Markit and the Energy Futures Initiative
(EFI), with the support of Breakthrough Energy, to describe the existing
U.S. clean energy innovation landscape and to recommend steps for
improving its effectiveness.

The analysis and conclusions of this report are those of IHS Markit and
the Energy Futures Initiative. IHS Markit and Energy Futures Initiative
are solely responsible for its contents.


About IHS Markit (

IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO) is a world leader in critical information,
analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive
economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information,
analytics and solutions to customers in business, finance and
government, improving their operational efficiency and providing deep
insights that lead to well-informed, confident decisions. IHS Markit has
more than 50,000 business and government customers, including 80 percent
of the Fortune Global 500 and the world’s leading financial institutions.

About the Energy Futures Initiative (

The Energy Futures Initiative, established in 2017 by former Energy
Secretary Ernest J. Moniz, is dedicated to addressing the imperatives of
climate change by driving innovation in energy technology, policy, and
business models to accelerate the creation of clean energy jobs, grow
local, regional, and national economies, and enhance energy security. We
are fact-based analysts who provide our funders with practical
real-world energy solutions.

IHS Markit is a registered trademark of IHS Markit Ltd. and/or its
affiliates. All other company and product names may be trademarks of
their respective owners © 2019 IHS Markit Ltd. All rights reserved.


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