Putting Pilot-Stage Clean Energy Technologies On A Commercialization Fast Track

It may seem dramatic, but “Valleys of Death” are hindering the United States’ progress in technology development, crucial for achieving this decade’s energy security and innovation goals. As emerging clean energy technologies advance from initial concept to commercialization, they face obstacles that can be fatal for young startups. These “Valleys of Death” are gaps in funding and support that the Department of Energy (DOE) has yet to effectively address—particularly for projects needing less than $25 million.
According to the Federation of American Scientists, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, almost 35% of CO2 emissions to avoid require technologies that are not yet past the demonstration stage. It’s important to note that this share is even higher in harder-to-decarbonize sectors like long-haul transportation and heavy industry. To reach this metric, a massive effort within the next ten years is needed for these technologies to reach readiness for deployment in a timely manner.Although programs exist within DOE to address different barriers to innovation, they are largely constrained to specific types of technologies and limited in the type of support they can provide. This has led to a discontinuous support system with gaps that leave technologies stranded as they wait in the “valleys of death” limbo. A “Fast Track” program at DOE – supported by the CHIPS and Science-authorized Foundation for Energy Security and Innovation (FESI) – would remove obstacles for rapidly-growing startups that are hindered by traditional government processes. FESI is uniquely positioned to be a valuable tool for DOE and its allies as they seek to fill the gaps in the technology innovation pipeline.

Read More

Discover more from American Infrastructure

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading