Why We Still Need Innovation in Green Energy Tech?

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Innovation in renewable energy is about more than new tech. We require solutions that will make energy production, transmission, and consumption more flexible.

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The renewable energy company with the greatest market share in India has an opening for a chief technology officer, and I’m moving there. Leaving the Council, which has provided me with the resources and freedom to research the solutions necessary for global decarbonization, is bittersweet.

Before I go, I wanted to point out a recent piece I co-authored with John Dabiri from Stanford, David Hart from ITIF, and George Mason University for the energy journal Joule. It says here what we’re saying here:

Innovation Green Energy

Three of the best-known examples of successful clean energy technologies are solar power, wind power, and battery storage. The International Energy Agency recognized them in 2017 as the only technology with a fast enough deployment rate to help mitigate climate change. Cheaper batteries are driving increased sales of electric cars and a construction boom of grid-scale energy storage projects, while power from solar and wind farms is now frequently offered at rates below those of electricity from fossil-fueled plants.

Countries may decide that investing in new solar, wind, and storage technologies is no longer important. It would be wrong to draw such a conclusion. Although these three technologies have shown excellent performance and have good prospects, stagnation is still present. One particular technical blueprint has developed in each situation, and it is this blueprint that private enterprise is now building up.

In the last several years, crystalline silicon panels have further solidified their near-monopoly in the solar photovoltaic energy market. As seen in Figure 1B, a similar pattern is developing in grid-scale energy storage as lithium-ion batteries continue to gain market share at an impressive pace. And, in the wind power industry, horizontal-axis wind turbines have had a near monopoly for years.

The near-term competitiveness of clean energy relative to fossil fuels is due in large part to these “dominant designs.” However, the long-term danger of “technology lock-in” is substantial. In the past, technological lock-in has been observed across a variety of industries, particularly in legacy sectors with entrenched incumbent enterprises and regulatory stagnation. Even if a new technology is much better than the ones already on the market, it will have a hard time gaining traction in the marketplace once the status quo has been established. Lock-in red flags are blatantly obvious in all three disciplines. The private sector is placing huge bets on the quick implementation and incremental enhancement of current technologies while allocating almost no resources to the development of next-generation technologies.

Global efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions may fall well short of what is required to avert the worst impacts of climate change if emerging solar, wind, and storage technologies are “locked out.” Sure, there’s no way to know for sure that new technologies won’t be required at some point, but it’s smart risk management to assume as much.

New solar, wind, and battery technologies have the potential to surpass the present market leaders; thus, governments throughout the globe should step in to increase financing for research, development, and demonstration of these technologies. Without this kind of government backing, private companies are unlikely to invest much in these technologies. To maximize the return on public expenditures in innovation, well-designed policies would allocate funds among several technologies and gradually reduce their support when those innovations reached maturity.

Innovation Green Energy

To further renewable energy innovation, governments are not the only or even the most important institutions required. I’m excited to play a role in making my new company a frontrunner in the field of technology, which is increasingly moving into the hands of the private sector. Nonetheless, my experience at the Council has shown me that encouraging public policy may encourage private innovation.

I like my time on the Council because of the wonderful and challenging people I work with. For their encouragement, I have Richard Haass and Jim Lindsay to thank. I owe a great deal of gratitude to Michael Levi, who took me under his wing (and let me write on his site!). Without my two incredible research assistants, Sagatom Saha and Madison Freeman, and our enthusiastic interns, I would not have been able to do a single thing. Last but not least, I’ve had the good fortune to work with brilliant people from all around the globe. While I look forward to welcoming guests to New Delhi with a cup of chai, I will miss the thriving DC policy scene.


The analysis concludes that across all quantiles, the impact of renewable energy innovation on renewable energy output is positive. Countries like India and South Africa, which have lower renewable energy production per capita than countries like China, Brazil, and Russia, are more likely to feel the greater impact of renewable energy innovation per capita because the coefficients are relatively larger at the small quantiles. Quantile-average changes in renewable energy output are shown to have a positive and statistically significant influence on real GDP, whereas quantile-average changes in the producer price index have a negative and statistically significant impact.


How can we promote environmentally friendly power sources?

Behavioral modification: getting people to use less energy, recycle more, and appreciate green products and services reductions in fossil fuel use and automobile usage. encouraging people to use public transportation or take up cycling as alternatives to driving cars.

Innovation Green Energy

Why is green energy important for our future?

By 2030, renewable energy might offer cheap enough power to meet 65 percent of the world’s demand. By 2050, it may be possible to reduce carbon emissions significantly and help combat climate change by decarbonizing 90% of the electricity industry.

Why are energy technologies important?

Energy research and development (R&D) is the means through which new energy technologies enter the market. Energy technologies are the key factors affecting energy availability, fuel choice, end-use efficiency, and the degree and form of by-product emissions.

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