Policy experts, public officials and advocates found common ground on key energy issues last Thursday at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation’s (ITIF) annual Energy Innovation conference in Washington, D.C.
During his keynote speech, Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) contended that energy innovation is key to winning the global economic race and challenged federal and state governments, businesses and other stakeholders to make collaborating on energy innovations a top priority.
Conference participants then surveyed the latest technological breakthroughs and clean energy policy recommendations, identifying a need for increased R&D and for developing an innovation-based energy strategy that would enable the U.S. to foster clean energy in a cost-effective and efficient way.
Dr. Arun Majumdar, director of the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), suggested that innovation become more aligned across four specific arenas: science and technology, finance and markets, policy, and education.
In September, Dr. Majumdar announced 60 cutting-edge research projects intended to dramatically improve how the U.S. produces and uses energy, focusing on “accelerating innovations in clean technology” and “increasing America’s competitiveness in rare earth alternatives and breakthroughs in biofuels, thermal storage, grid controls, and solar power electronics.”
Dr. Majumdar explained in a news release:
These innovative projects are at the forefront of a new technological frontier that plays a critical role in our future energy security and economic growth. It is now more important than ever to invest in game-changing ideas that will build the technological infrastructure for a new, clean energy economy.
As leaders in helping the U.S. reach its energy security, economic and environmental goals, America’s chemistry companies are already transforming the way we produce, use and reuse energy – from leveraging affordable supplies of domestic shale gas to create jobs, to creating products and technologies that boost energy efficiency and lower energy costs, to transforming non-recycled plastics or other products into valuable alternative energy through energy recovery technologies.
America’s energy future is bright and promising, and the domestic chemistry industry is excited to continue to work with key stakeholders on creating energy solutions for a strong, secure and sustainable future.