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Energy, Security, and Climate

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Showing posts for "Innovation"

Energy Innovation Isn’t Just About Technology

by Michael Levi

For many people, innovation is pretty much synonymous with technology. But when it comes to dealing with our energy and climate problems, we’re going to need innovation on other fronts. In particular, we’re going to need new business models that fit with clean energy. One key part of that that I keep coming back to in my thinking is finance. Read more »

An Important Report on Energy RD&D

by Michael Levi

Now that Cancun is done, it’s time to start thinking hard again about the nitty-gritty of low-carbon development. Harvard’s Energy Technology Innovation Program (ETIP) has a big new report (along with a shorter policy brief) on government investment in energy RD&D in what they call “the BRIMCS”: Brazil, Russia, India, Mexico, China, and South Africa. The report’s headline is that government investment is greater in the BRIMCS than in the OECD. My preliminary read of the report is that the most interesting stuff is elsewhere. Read more »

Two Roads for Energy Innovation

by Michael Levi

Shifting the focus of climate policy to investment in energy innovation has long been touted as a way to cut through international bickering over who should shoulder the cost of cutting emissions. Recent squabbling between the United States and China over whether Chinese government support for clean energy technology violates trade rules, though, should wake us up to the fact that life is not so simple. Read more »

Digging into the “Post-Partisan Power” Study

by Michael Levi

The new Brookings/AEI/Breakthrough “Post-Partisan Power” study, which calls on policymakers to focus on energy innovation rather than carbon pricing, has been generating a lot of debate over the last day. I symphathize with those who have criticized the study for pretending to be more “bipartisan” than it actually is, and for overselling the potential of energy innovation absent government incentives that increase demand. But set that aside: what’s being missed in this debate is that most of the paper is actually a smart and thoughtful discussion of how to do energy innovation policy right. Read more »

Overselling Energy Innovation

by Michael Levi

David Leonhardt has a column in today’s New York Times which looks at at the potential for government-sponsored innovation to drive U.S. climate policy. I’m sympathetic to the argument that carbon pricing (and other demand-side policy) isn’t enough alone to transform how we produce and consume energy. But Leonhardt indulges in some bad logic that’s common enough to deserve rebutting: Read more »