ITIF Says National Academies Biofuels Report Highlights Need for Clean Energy Innovation

October 4, 2011

WASHINGTON-ITIF Senior Clean Energy Policy Analyst Matthew Hourihan released the following statement on today's National Academies report on Renewable Fuel Standards:

Today's National Academies report that the nation is unlikely to meet the current Renewable Fuel Standard underscores yet again that mandates are insufficient. We need radical clean energy innovation to make renewables and other alternatives competitive with fossil fuels.

The report's findings were not a surprise. Yes, raising standards can help establish new markets for renewable fuels, but these mandates alone will not force the big leaps needed to make advanced, sustainable biofuels a reality. What is needed is strong investment in cost-effective research and innovation.

Fortunately, entrepreneurs and companies with support from DOE's ARPA-E, the national labs, USDA, and other public institutions are making progress in clean energy innovation. Unfortunately, these activities are exactly those under the knife in the current budget debate.


This report should reinforce the public understanding that mandates alone will not create clean, domestic energy sources to displace fossil fuels, and strengthens the case for a robust commitment to investment in energy innovation.


The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank at the cutting edge of designing innovation strategies and technology policies to create economic opportunities and improve quality of life in the United States and around the world. Founded in 2006, ITIF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, non-partisan organization that documents the beneficial role technology plays in our lives and provides fact-based analysis and pragmatic ideas for improving technology-driven productivity, boosting competitiveness, and meeting today's global challenges through innovation. For additional information, visit ITIF at or contact Steve Norton at (202) 626-5758 or [email protected].