One of the big gaps in federal energy innovation policy has been the lack of overarching vision or strategy to define how to get where we need to go. When the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released its major report last fall on accelerating energy technology (PDF), they made the establishment of such a strategy their highest recommendation. The proposal for a Quadrennial Energy Review was modeled in part after the Quadrennial Defense Review.
In the months since, the Department of Energy has taken up this recommendation and begun to move forward on what is now being called the Quadrennial Technology Review (QTR). The resulting strategy could help resolve the mishmash of existing energy policies, and ensure greater coherence that allows innovation to flourish.