Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Print publication year: 2014
  • Online publication date: August 2014

3 - Reforming U.S. Energy Innovation Institutions: Maximizing the Return on Investment

Summary

Introduction and Motivations

The large new investments in energy research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) recommended in the last chapter will not be justified or sustainable unless they are managed in a way that maximizes the effectiveness of the investment. Hence, the U.S. government must ensure that its energy innovation institutions are as efficient and effective as they can be.

The Bush and Obama administrations have seen substantial innovation and reform in U.S. energy innovation institutions, with the creation of the Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), the Energy Innovation Hubs, the energy frontier research centers, and strengthened connections between Basic Energy Sciences and the applied R&D offices at the Department of Energy (DOE). But as we will outline in this chapter, there is a great deal more to be done to ensure that DOE's energy innovation institutions are as effective as they can be.

DOE's national laboratories, in particular, are a core element of DOE's science and innovation system. In addition to goals of nuclear security and scientific exploration, DOE also aims to contribute to new discoveries and inventions in energy technologies. DOE itself is part of a larger innovation regime in the United States and globally that includes different actors and institutional models for conducting research. For energy innovation, a successful national laboratory outcome is often the commercialization of a technology product. Whether a laboratory's research is fundamental inquiry or it sits on the applied end of the research spectrum, it must contribute to knowledge or technologies that can eventually find use and enhance the energy system's impact on national security, the environment, and the market.

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

Transforming US Energy Innovation
  • Online ISBN: 9781107338890
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107338890
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
References
Anadon L.D. (2012). “Missions-oriented RD&D institutions in energy between 2000 and 2010: A comparative analysis of China, the United Kingdom, and the United States.” Research Policy, 41(10):1742–56.
Anadon L.D., & Nemet G.F. (2013). “The U.S. Synthetic Fuels Corporation: Policy consistency, flexibility, and the long-term consequences of perceived failures.” In Energy Technology Innovation: Learning from Successes and from Failures, pp. 257–74, edited by Gruebler A. and Wilson C.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Apte P., & Scalise G. (2009). “The recession's silver lining.” IEEE Spectrum, 46(10):46–51.
Bonvillian W., & van Atta R. (2011). “ARPA-E and DARPA: Applying the DARPA model to energy innovation.” The Journal of Technology Transfer, 36(5):469–513.
Bozeman B. (2000). “Technology transfer and public policy: A review of research and theory.” Research Policy, 29:627–55.
BP Press Release. (2006, June 14). “BP pledges $500 million for energy biosciences institute and plans new business to exploit research.” London: BP.
Brown G. (1992). “Guest comment: The objectivity crisis.” American Journal of Physics, 60(9):779–81.
Burger R.M. (2000). Cooperative Research: The New Paradigm. Semiconductor Research Corporation. Unpublished manuscript.
Cash D.W, Clark W., Alcock F., Dickson N., Eckley N., & Jager J. (2002), Salience, Credibility, Legitimacy and Boundaries: Linking Research, Assessment, and Decision Making. Cambridge, Mass.: John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Chu S. (2009). Testimony of Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, FY 2010 appropriations hearing: 1–12.
DOE. (2008). “DOE selects ASE to manage and operate its National Renewable Energy Laboratory.” Retrieved from (Accessed February 25, 2014).
Duderstadt J., Was G., McGrath R., Muro M., Corradini M., Katehi L., Shangraw R., & Sarzynkski A. (2009). Energy Discovery-Innovation Institutes: A Step Toward America's Energy Sustainability. Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution; 78 pp. retrieved from (Accessed July 25, 2013).
EBI. (2007). Master Agreement, Dated November 9, 2007, Between BP Technology Ventures, Inc. and the Regents of the University of California, Energy Biosciences Institute, Berkeley.
EERE. (2006a). Performance evaluation of the Midwest Research Institute for the management and operation of the national renewable energy laboratory; October 1, 2005 through September 30, 2006 performance period. 2006:1–34.
EERE. (2006b). “President Bush promotes the advanced energy initiative.” Solar Energy Technology Program News, February 22, 2006.
EERE. (2011). “Entrepreneur in residence program.” Retrieved from . (Accessed July 17, 2011).
First Solar. (2003). First Solar's breakthrough technology wins R&D 100 award. First Solar Press Release. September 9, 2003.
Funtowicz S.O., & Ravetz J.R. (1993). “Science for the post-normal age.” Futures, 25(7):735–55.
Gertner J. (2012). The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation. New York: Penguin Press.
Gibbons M., Limoges C., Nowotny H., Schwartzman S., Scott P., & Trow M. (1994). The New Production of Knowledge: The Dynamics of Science and Research in Contemporary Societies. London: SAGE.
Guinnessy P. (2009). “U.S. weapons labs determined to retain funding.” Physics Today. Retrieved from blogs.physicstoday.org/politics/2009/08/us-weapons-labs-determinedto.html (Accessed May 5, 2011).
Kim H. (2011). Commercializing Low-Carbon Energy Technologies from Research Laboratories through Start-Ups. Unpublished MS dissertation, Oxford University.
Laird F.N. (2001). Solar Energy, Technology Policy, and Institutional Values. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press.
Logar N. (2009). “Towards a culture of application: Science and decision making at the national institute of standards & technology.” Minerva, 47:345–66.
Logar N., & R. Conant R. (2007). “Reconciling the supply and demand for carbon cycle science in the U.S. agricultural sector.” Environmental Science & Policy, 10(1):75–84.
Marburger J.H. (2005). “Wanted: Better benchmarks.” Science, 308(5725):1087.
Marczewski R. (1995). Testimony of Richard Marczewski, manager, technology transfer office, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, for the House of Representatives Science, Space, and Technology Committee's Subcommittee on Technology and Subcommittee on Basic Research. House Report 104-390 – National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995, pp. 151–62.
Moniz E., & Savitz M. (2010). Accelerating the Pace of Change in Energy Technologies through an Integrated Federal Energy Policy. PCAST report, September 2, 2010. Washington, D.C.: President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Narayanamurti V., Anadon L.D., Breetz H., Bunn M., Lee H., & Mielke E. (2011, February). Transforming the Energy Economy: Options for Accelerating the Commercialization of Advanced Energy Technologies. Cambridge, Mass.: Report for Energy Technology Innovation Policy Research Group, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Narayanamurti V., Anadon L.D., & Sagar A.D. (2009). “Transforming energy innovation.” Issues in Science and Technology, 26(1):57–64.
Narayanamurti V., Odumosu T., & Vinsel L. (2013). “Rip: The basic-applied research dichotomy.” Issues in Science and Technology, XXIX.2, Winter.
NREL. (1995). “NREL funding reductions to further impact lab's workforce.” NREL News Releases.
NREL. (2009). “Recovery act money invested at NREL.” NREL Feature News, May 1, 2009.
NREL. (2010). “NREL's clean energy forum attracts nearly 500 participants from investment community.” NREL News Releases, October 21, 2010.
OSTP. (1983). Report of the White House Science Council Federal Laboratory Review Panel, pp. 1–36. Washington, D.C.
Packard D. (1983). “Packard report urges more autonomy without change.” Nature, 304:199.
PCAST. (2010). Report to the President on Accelerating the Pace of Change in Energy Technologies through an Integrated Federal Energy Policy. Washington, D.C.: President's Council of Advisors on Science & Technology.
Pielke R.A. (1995). “Usable information for policy: An appraisal of the U.S. global change research program.” Policy Sciences, 38:39–77.
Pielke R.A., & Byerly R. (1998). “Beyond basic and applied.” Physics Today, 51(2):42–6.
Pielke R.A., & Sarewitz D. (2003). “Wanted: Scientific leadership on climate change.” Issues in Science and Technology, Winter: 27–30.
Rubin H. J., & Rubin I.S. (1995). Qualitative Interviewing: The Art of Hearing Data. London: SAGE.
Sarewitz D., & Pielke R.A. (2007). “The neglected heart of science policy: Reconciling supply of and demand for science.” Environmental Science & Policy, 10(1):5–16.
Serface J. (2009). “My year as NREL's entrepreneur in residence.” Cleantech Blog.
Shapley D., & Roy R. (1985). Lost at the Frontier: U.S. Science and Technology Policy Adrift. Philadelphia: ISI Press.
SRC. (2011a). “SRC vision, mission, charter and values.” Retrieved from (Accessed July 17, 2011).
SRC. (2011b).“ERI mission and objectives.” Retrieved from (Accessed July 17, 2011).
Stokes D.E. (1997). Pasteur's Quadrant: Basic Science and Technological Innovation. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.
Tennenhouse D. (2004). “Intel's open collaborative model of industry – university research.” Research-Technology Management, (July-August):19–25.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. (2005). “The national medal of technology and innovation recipients.” Retrieved from (Accessed July 24, 2011).
Wiser R., Bolinger M., & Barbose G. (2007). “Using the federal production tax credit to build a durable market for wind power in the United States.” The Electricity Journal, 20:77–88.
Vance A., & Miller C.C. (2010). “6 months, $90,000 and (maybe) a great idea.” The New York Times, February 27, 2010.