American Energy Innovation: The Federal Policy Landscape

A conversation on the future of energy innovation policy


Dec. 14, 2020


12:00–1:00 p.m. ET


Event Series

Advanced Energy Technologies Series

Event Details

Note: Congress passed the American Energy Innovation Act on December 21. Upon passage, it was renamed the Energy Act of 2020.

Decarbonizing the US economy will require substantial investment in research, development, and deployment of technologies that have not yet entered the marketplace at large scale. There is bipartisan support for federal policy to support such clean energy innovation—particularly under the auspices of the American Energy Innovation Act, a multibillion-dollar piece of legislation currently under consideration in the US Senate. (A companion bill, the Clean Energy and Jobs Innovation Act, was passed by the US House of Representatives in September 2020.)

On December 14, 2020, Resources for the Future (RFF) hosted a conversation at this important moment for innovation policy. Our distinguished set of panelists—including one of the lead architects of the American Energy Innovation Act—discussed what parts of the innovation ecosystem policy can most readily support; how past innovation policies in the United States have fared, both in the energy sector and elsewhere; how the private sector takes signals from policies; and how the discussion around energy innovation policy has unfolded on Capitol Hill over the past year.


  • Colin Cunliff, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
  • Cheryl Martin, Harwich Partners
  • Spencer Nelson, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
  • Lara Pierpoint, Exelon
  • Richard G. Newell, Resources for the Future (moderator)

Event Video

About the Advanced Energy Technologies Project

RFF’s Advanced Energy Technologies Project uses new research to incorporate a number of these advanced technologies into our E4ST power sector model, which offers a detailed representation of the grid and is widely used in policy analysis related to power sector decarbonization.

The related events series covers topics such as carbon capture and sequestration, advanced nuclear energy, enhanced geothermal systems, energy storage, and direct air capture. The series will conclude with an additional event showcasing the results of RFF’s analysis of how various policy proposals will drive investment in and deployment of these technologies.


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