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The Next Big Things: Climate Technologies to Watch

The Next Big Things: Climate Technologies to Watch

Innovation to make energy clean, affordable, and reliable should be a central goal of climate and energy policy, because the sobering reality is that climate change caused by unabated combustion of fossil fuels will continue until clean systems match conventional systems in price and performance. But the good news is that there is a wide range of opportunities to do just that—if innovation policy helps the private sector unlock them.

In this series of briefings, ITIF’s Center for Clean Energy Innovation provides overviews of promising climate technologies, highlighting progress that has been made on them, what still needs to be done, and what the United States can do to bring them to maturity so they can contribute to the transition to net-zero emissions.

Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) will play the most significant role in meeting President Biden’s goal of a zero-carbon aviation sector by 2050, but significant progress must be made to scale up production and bring down costs.

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Floating Wind Farms

Floating offshore wind farms should be the next big thing in the wind industry. But catalyzing greater private investment and reducing costs will require large-scale demonstration to increase confidence from investors that the technology works as intended.

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Enhanced Geothermal Systems

With technological advancements in deep-well drilling and material improvements, Enhanced Geothermal Systems technology costs could be reduced, and geothermal energy could make substantial contributions to a net-zero energy system over the long term.

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Perovskite Solar Photovoltaic Cells

Silicon-based photovoltaic technology is reaching its practical efficiency limits. Perovskite solar cells, which can be fine-tuned to absorb different colors of the solar spectrum, could be a game-changer, offering the tantalizing possibility of more efficient, cheaper solar power.

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