Devil is in the Details: Comparing the Candidates’ Energy Innovation Policies

September 19, 2012

Both candidates have almost polar opposite views on how to fund and structure energy innovation policy even while supporting the same no-regrets climate narrative. It’s clear that President Obama would continue supporting energy innovation programs like R&D, scale-up, and technology demonstration if re-elected, though questions remain as to whether much needed policy reforms, such as re-thinking clean energy deployment policies, would be a priority. Governor Romney envisions a much more drastic break from the energy innovation policies of the past four years. He would potentially cut energy research across the board and focus on basic research and ARPA-E. He also emphasizes eliminating public support for clean energy deployment rather than coming up with better ways of supporting emerging technologies and fails to mention technology transfer or government procurement.