Rather than make spurious claims that climate mitigation is free, advocates and policymakers should be discussing how policy (in this country and others) can make clean energy as affordable as possible.
Energy & Climate
Time for the National Labs to Go Local
Ask any tech entrepreneur or start-up founder what they know about the Department of Energy's (DOE) national laboratories and most will shrug their shoulders. A few may refer to the famed Manhattan Project that built the atomic bomb — the impetus for creating the labs in the 1940s. Even fewer will know how to engage with the labs to advance their business. This gap needs to be lessened if we hope to further leverage the expertise of the labs to spur innovation and economic growth.
Department of Energy’s National Labs Can Also Be Regional Hubs
The Department of Energy’s 17 national laboratories are a $12.5 billion network of potentially transformative basic and applied R&D hubs located in or near many of the nation’s metropolitan areas. However, the labs are today underutilized as true economic assets. How can they be better leveraged?
Going Local: Connecting the National Labs to their Regions for Innovation and Growth
Since their inception in the 1940s, the Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories have been in the vanguard of America’s global research and development leadership. However, the national innovation system has changed in the past 70 years. Today, much technology development and application occurs in the context of synergistic regional clusters of firms, trade associations, educational institutions, private labs, and regional economic development organizations. Unfortunately, legacy operating procedures limit the DOE labs’ ability to engage fully with the regional economies in which they are located. This lack of consistent engagement with regional technology clusters has likely limited the labs’ overall contributions to U.S. economic growth.