American Energy Innovation Council: Triple R&D Spending, Create Energy Strategy Board

The United States should triple clean energy R&D to $16 billion a year, a council composed of General Electric’s Jeffrey Immelt, Bill Gates and John Doerr and others, has recommended.

The also recommended that government fund the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) at $1 billion a year to focus on high-risk, high-payoff strategies and that lawmakers create an independent national Energy Strategy Board.

The council’s report, titled “A Business Plan for America’s Energy Future,” calls for energy innovation to start today:

Most of the technologies that underlie the current energy system were invented decades ago, and are increasingly costly, brittle, and incompatible with a clean future. In almost every realm of energy, we can develop and deploy new technologies that are more efficient, secure, and clean. Technology can be a game changer.

The group also includes, former DuPont chief executive Chad Holliday, former Lockheed Martin head Norm Augustine,  Xerox Corp Chief Executive Officer Ursula Burns and Cummins Inc. head Tim Solso.

Among the group’s recommendation: create Centers of Excellence in energy innovation with budgets of $150 to $250 million each that are located in close proximity to each other and share information with each other; establish a New Energy Challenge Program to help turn prototypes into commercial-scale facilities.

The government would commit $20 billion over 10 years and also use private sector resources.

The $16 billion yearly appropriation would cover all of the various programs.

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