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Climate-Tech RD&D

Innovation is central to addressing global climate change while increasing economic growth, boosting international competitiveness, and eliminating energy poverty. ITIF’s Center for Clean Energy Innovation seeks to accelerate the transition of the domestic and global energy systems to low-carbon resources. In the area of climate-tech RD&D, our research focuses on public and private investments to invent and improve technologies with the potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions.


Beyond Force: A Realist Pathway Through the Green Transition

Beyond Force: A Realist Pathway Through the Green Transition

Trying to force adoption of clean energy with subsidies, regulations, and exhortations will fail. The only realistic way to spur the green transition is to develop clean technologies that can reach effective price and performance parity with dirty ones. Then markets will adopt them at scale.

More Publications and Events

March 21, 2024|Events

The Crucial Role of Early-Stage University Research in Clean Energy Innovation

Please join ITIF for an expert panel discussion about a new report examining the role of federal funding for clean energy research conducted by colleges and universities.

March 13, 2024|Reports & Briefings

How Federal Funding for Basic Research Spurs Clean Energy Discoveries the World Needs: Eight Case Studies

We need new breakthroughs in clean energy technology to address climate change. Recent discoveries in areas such as nuclear fusion and biofuels illustrate how government investment in early-stage research is a critical part of the process.

March 6, 2024|Op-Eds & Contributed Articles

Let’s Be Realistic About Green Hydrogen

Like any new technology, green hydrogen must meet three related challenges: production, distribution and adoption. But it faces far higher-than-advertised hurdles at every stage.

February 23, 2024|Books & Edited Volumes

Overcoming Obstacles to Gene-Edited Solutions to Climate Challenges

Gene editing and genetic modification hold enormous potential to deliver solutions to multiple climate change challenges. The most important rate-limiting obstacles impeding their development and deployment are not technical, but rather counterproductive policies and regulations. These are driven in part by the mistaken apprehension of widespread public opposition. These obstacles are described and solutions to overcoming them are presented.

February 23, 2024|Books & Edited Volumes

Innovations Like These Will Help Solve the Climate Crisis: Introduction to “Synthetic Biology and Greenhouse Gases”

The landscape is rich with opportunities for gene-editing solutions to address many of the challenges of climate change. But which should be pursued first, and how can they best be galvanized?

February 20, 2024|Blogs

Fact of the Week: A 1 Percent Increase in Patents Leads to a 0.08 Percent Decrease in Carbon Emissions

A new working paper indicates that a 1 percent increase in the number of patent applications is associated with a decrease in carbon emissions of about 0.08 percent.

January 16, 2024|Reports & Briefings

A Realist Approach to Hydrogen

Clean hydrogen is expensive to produce, difficult to transport, and a second- or third-best clean energy solution in almost all proposed markets. To help drive the global green transition, a realist approach to hydrogen policy must address all these practical challenges.

November 30, 2023|Reports & Briefings

Mission Innovation, Phase 2: More Failed Aspirations to Fight Climate Change

Twenty-three countries plus the EU pledged in 2015 to double their investments in clean energy RD&D by 2020. Only one met that goal. Undeterred, they announced a new set of pledges in 2021. Two years later, most are still woefully underinvesting in clean energy RD&D.

August 22, 2023|Op-Eds & Contributed Articles

Green Transition: How Agriculture Can Drive Climate Change Solutions

Trying to force the green transition with government regulations, subsidies, and exhortation will not work. The economic reality is that clean energy technologies must reach price/performance parity with dirty energy (P3).

August 4, 2023|Blogs

Biological Solutions to Climate Challenges Deserve More Attention

Clean energy technologies need to reach price/performance parity with dirty energy—and biology may well be the most promising source for innovations that can achieve that goal.

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