WASHINGTON (October 18, 2013) - Solving climate change requires widespread global adoption of low-carbon energy sources. Achieving this transformation depends on clean energy alternatives with the same or better cost and quality characteristics as fossil fuels.
Unfortunately, the consensus among leading climate advocates is that we have all the clean energy technology we need today and that the policy task at hand is to focus on deployment. For them, the principal tools to accomplish this are regulatory mandates coupled with subsidies for clean energy and taxes on dirty energy. However, this “Clean Energy Deployment Consensus” is fundamentally flawed not only because clean energy technologies cost more than fossil fuels outside of niche markets, but because there is no evidence that the proposed mandates, subsidies and taxes have any chance of being adopted on a global basis.
To analyze the misconceptions of the Deployment Consensus and demonstrate the need for a comprehensive energy innovation strategy, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) will release Challenging the Clean Energy Deployment Consensus on Wednesday, October 23. The report analyzes the roots of the Consensus and its assumptions about existing technologies, including a critical review of the core studies deployment defenders rely on for their claims that we can make massive strides in clean energy adoption with existing technologies.
The report also assesses the innovation challenges pointed to by many of these studies, which holders of the Deployment Consensus usually gloss over, such as those related to full grid integration, the need for low-cost high capacity energy storage, and the challenges in renewable technology cost reductions. It concludes by presenting an innovation-based policy framework for building a robust and global clean energy innovation ecosystem, including the use of smarter deployment policies to drive energy innovation.
Embargoed copies of the report are available. Please contact ITIF Communications Director William Dube at email@example.com if you would like a copy.
"Since 2009, 75 percent of direct, annual U.S. federal investment for energy innovation has gone to the deployment of existing energy technologies, rather than to research, development and demonstration," notes Me