Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Opinion: Lack of long-term U.S. energy plan impedes transformative technology

Opinion: Lack of long-term U.S. energy plan impedes transformative technology (The Brookings Institution)

Lance Collins, J. Silbert Dean of Engineering - Cornell University

In the case of geothermal, there are no national guidelines indicating how much it should be contributing to total energy production. Support for geothermal projects in the form of loan guarantees, lending support, or cooperative agreements has been inconsistent since the 1970s and a tax credit for geothermal developers expired in 2016 – the same year a new energy bill stalled in Congress that may have boosted funds directed at geothermal projects. This uncertainty makes geothermal less attractive to investors and utilities.

In the more than 60 years we’ve recognized energy as an important societal problem, we’ve failed to come up with the means and determination to change our reliance on fossil fuels. Researchers in universities and labs across the country will continue to innovate and find new ways to make energy more efficient, cheap, resilient to natural disasters, and less damaging to the environment. It is essential that we partner with government and policymakers to create a pipeline for these innovations to reach the market, so that we can ensure a sustainable energy future.

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