WASHINGTON (October 16, 2012) - Today ITIF is releasing a new report titled Lean, Mean, and Clean II: Assessing DOD Investments in Clean Energy Innovation. The report explores the Department of Defense contributions to clean energy innovation.
Long considered an innovation powerhouse, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has supported some of the most integral technological breakthroughs of the past century. In recent years policymakers and advocates have become interested in DOD's investments in clean energy innovation, recognizing that there is potential for commercial spillover for some advanced technologies with diverse applications. Until this point, however, there has been little effort to communicate the characteristics of DOD's investments to determine their potential impacts on national clean energy policy. This report finds that DOD has invested $5 billion in clean energy innovation since 2009, indicating potential commercial spillover effects when mission-oriented research and procurement investment align.
"While DOE clean energy investments explicitly target commercial applications, DOD's investments aim at fulfilling mission objectives. Nevertheless, DOD's comprehensive innovation ecosystem is capable of accelerating clean energy technologies from basic and applied research to prototype demonstrations, to full-scale production and commercialization when relevant to DOD's mission needs. This is especially applicable to developments in alternative fuel, power electronics, energy storage, and smart grid technologies," said Megan Nicholson, the report's co-author.
Using ITIF's Energy Innovation Tracker, a publicly accessible and free data source that tracks fed