Industry leaders gathered this week at the Energy Innovation 2010 conference in Washington, D.C., to discuss the current status of U.S. energy policy, its future and what measures can be taken to achieve energy independence.
Wednesday's gathering hosted a number of presentations and discussion panels from leading think tanks, government agencies, private analysts and researchers, with the general goal of forging a path for U.S. energy policy into the future.
The general consensus was that the country needs to invest in research and development for new clean energy technologies, while driving down prices of green tech innovations so as to maximize competition.
Panelists also agreed that comprehensive reform of the country's system of innovation must be considered, adding that such policies are likely to achieve bipartisan support from lawmakers.
"The promise of a clean, secure and prosperous energy future continues to disappoint because it has been, for four decades, premised on the notion that the technologies necessary to deliver that future are close at hand. They are not,” wrote hosts Dr. Rob Atkinson, Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger. "[Federal] commitment needs to be stronger, and more strategically built around particular technology pathways and policies focused on innovation."
Despite growing pressure from private advocacy groups, as well as rising oil prices, government R&D spending on energy has remained flat over the past several years. To pick up the slack, many private firms have begun launching their own alternative energy ventures, while utilizing effective intellectual property management systems to control and administer their innovations.