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Unlocking Energy Innovation:How America Can Build a Low-Cost, Low-Carbon Energy System

Cover Image Copyright Year: 2011
Author(s): Richard K. Lester; David M. Hart
Book Type: MIT Press
Content Type : Books
Topics: Power, Energy, & Industry Applications
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Abstract

Energy innovation offers us our best chance to solve the three urgent and interrelated problems of climate change, worldwide insecurity over energy supplies, and rapidly growing energy demand. But if we are to achieve a timely transition to reliable, low-cost, low-carbon energy, the U.S. energy innovation system must be radically overhauled. Unlocking Energy Innovation outlines an up-to-the-minute plan for remaking America's energy innovation system by tapping the country's entrepreneurial strengths and regional diversity in both the public and private spheres. The authors map three waves of energy innovation to show how we can speed up the introduction of new technologies and business models and accelerate their deployment on a massive scale. "Business as usual" will not fill the energy innovation gap. Nor will wishful thinking--common enough today, with politicians and others talking up some technologies, talking down others, and claiming that if we price it, or if we mandate it, or if we simply say it often and inspiringly enough, the innovations will flow. Only the kind of systemic, transformative changes to our energy innovation system described in this provocative book will help us avert the most dire scenarios and achieve a sustainable and secure energy future.