Energy & Climate

Energy-related issues.

Senator Coons Unveils Bill to Modernize National Labs and Spur Innovation

January 30, 2014
Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) announced the introduction of the America INNOVATES Act on the floor of the U.S. Senate Jan. 29

Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) announced the introduction of the America INNOVATES Act on the floor of the U.S. Senate Jan. 29. The legislation is based, in part, on the June 2013 report Turning the Page: Reimagining the National Labs in the 21st Century Innovation Economy produced by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the Center for American Progress, and the Heritage Foundation.

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#EnergyChat: Unraveling the President's State of the Union Address

January 29, 2014
Matthew Stepp, and Megan Nicholson discuss the implications of the President's State of the Union address on U.S. climate and energy policy in an #EnergyChat with the Energy Collective.

Matthew Stepp, and Megan Nicholson discuss the implications of the President's State of the Union address on U.S. climate and energy policy in an #EnergyChat with the Energy Collective.

Leveraging Innovation Clusters to Accelerate Clean Energy Research Into Market

January 23, 2014 - 10:30am - 11:45am
Capitol Visitor Center
Capitol Hill

Innovation and commercialization of new technologies is fundamental to long-term economic growth and job creation. Yet there are significant challenges to moving new clean technologies from the lab to the market, including business planning, market development, regulatory reform, and technology demonstration. Read more »

Time to Make Abrupt Climate Change and Earth Observation a Policy Priority

January 15, 2014
| Blogs & Op-eds

The National Research Council released a new report in December calling for the development of an Abrupt Change Early Warning System (ACEWS), adding to the growing list of energy and climate policies the world needs to rapidly adopt. Scientists believe that with additional monitoring and observation sites, society can be warned of abrupt changes in the environment, allowing them to better prepare and reduce the associated impacts. However, Congress has decreased funding to one of the major earth observation systems, in a time when much more data is needed to detect abrupt climate changes, not less.

Overhaul the Energy Tax-Credit System

January 9, 2014
| Blogs & Op-eds

Writing in The Hill, ITIF Senior Analyst Matthew Stepp argues that clean energy tax credits, such as the recently expired Production Tax Credit for wind power, no longer supports breakthrough innovation; rather it greatly supports the deployment of existing designs. In its place, Congress should create an Energy Innovation and Manufacturing Tax Credit that provides limited, early-stage deployment support for emerging technologies.

60 Minutes’ of Epic Fail and the Real Energy Policy Debates CBS Missed

January 9, 2014
| Blogs & Op-eds

The 60 Minutes segment on the “Clean Energy Crash” ignores serious clean tech policy debates that are worth taking a deeper dive into. For starters, the United States is truly in the middle of a clean tech crash, just not the kind CBS is trying to advance. The U.S. clean energy innovation budget — the public investments in RD&D and smart deployment — has fallen 28 percent since the 2009-10 Stimulus Act. Federal clean energy research has dropped from $7.9 billion in 2010 to $5.6 billion today. Investments pegged for demonstration projects have dropped by an incredible 97 percent since the Stimulus. And many in Congress want to continue this trend with even deeper cuts.

Department of Energy needs to better link federally funded research to commercialization.

Reform national laboratory systems to better support clean energy innovation. In the United States the Department of Energy National Laboratory system needs to better link federally funded research to the market to accelerate commercialization.

Innovation, Technology Transfer & Commercialization

December 10, 2013
| Presentations

Companies, states and federal agencies are making stronger efforts to move their inventions and innovations out of research labs to the marketplace. Matthew Stepp participated in this panel discussion, sponsored by the National Governor’s Association, which highlighted some recent examples of these efforts, focusing on the lessons learned for other states to consider.


The Millennial Trains Project // Journey I

December 3, 2013
In this short documentary, Matthew Stepp's perspective on the MTP trip and his project are highlighted among other participants.

In August, Senior Analyst Matthew Stepp took part in the Millennial Trains Project, a cross-country train tour of seven cities in ten days. The trip brought together 24 millennial age (18-34) thinkers to facilitate their own unique, entrepreneurial projects via 1950’s era trains. Matthew’s project, Energy Innovation Across America, aimed to bring the stories and perspectives of energy innovators from across the country back to Washington. With energy policy gridlock at an all-time high, he broke out of the D.C. Read more »

The Logic Chain to an Effective Global Clean Energy Policy

November 22, 2013
| Reports

Addressing global climate change requires clean energy technologies that are cost and performance-competitive with fossil fuels without subsidies. Yet, the dominant energy policy approaches in the United States and internationally, characterized by carbon prices, subsidies, and mandates, do the opposite. Only a cohesive and aggressive energy innovation strategy can develop and deploy affordable clean energy options the entire world wants to purchase and use. In nine steps, ITIF explains the logic behind the essential connection between the global climate challenge and the need for aggressive policies to support innovation at the federal and international levels. The report also recommends several policy suggestions to support such an innovation strategy.