America is addicted to fossil fuels, and the environmental and geopolitical costs are mounting. A federal program—on the scale of the Manhattan Project or the Apollo Program—to stimulate innovation in energy policy seems essential. In a recently published book, Structuring an Energy Technology Revolution, Charles Weiss and William Bonvillian make the case for just such a program. Their proposal backs measures to stimulate private investment in new technology, including a cap-and-trade system or carbon tax, but augments these with a revamped energy innovation system. It would encourage a broad range of innovations that would give policymakers a variety of technological options over the long implementation period and at the huge scale required. Using new organizational features, the program would go beyond traditional research and development efforts to promote prototyping, demonstration, and deployment of technological innovations faster than could be accomplished by market forces alone.
Please join ITIF and William Bonvillian, Director of the MIT Washington Office and a former senior adviser in the U.S. Senate, at an event to discuss key finding from the book.