Clean Energy Innovation: How Beneficial is Government Funding?

A panel discussion on the effects of government support for advanced energy technology research, development, and demonstration (RD&D)


July 30, 2021


12:00–1:00 p.m. ET

Event Series

Advanced Energy Technologies Series

Event Details

Research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of new and improved advanced energy technologies can greatly reduce the cost of decarbonizing the economy in the United States and globally. There is bipartisan support for federal policy to support such clean energy innovation—particularly under the auspices of the Energy Act of 2020, a multibillion-dollar piece of legislation that passed at the end of 2020.

On July 30, 2021, Resources for the Future (RFF) hosted a conversation on the effects of government support for advanced energy technology RD&D. The event began with an overview of the findings from a recent set of reports led by RFF Fellow Daniel Shawhan, which estimate the consumer, health, and climate benefits and costs that would result from increased spending for advanced nuclear, geothermal, storage, carbon capture and sequestration, and direct air capture. The event then featured a panel discussion on the effects of clean energy RD&D funding, improving the estimation of those effects, and prospects for future funding.


  • Kathryne Cleary, Resources for the Future
  • Christoph Funke, Resources for the Future

Panel Discussion

  • Kelly Sims Gallagher, Tufts University
  • Spencer Nelson, ClearPath
  • Daniel Shawhan, Resources for the Future
  • Richard G. Newell, Resources for the Future (moderator)

Event Video

Additional Event Resources

About the Advanced Energy Technologies Project

RFF’s Advanced Energy Technologies Project examines several emerging energy technologies that have the potential to reduce and eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions. The project combines cutting-edge expert elicitation and modeling to predict the effects and benefits of greater RD&D funding for those technologies.


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