The United States and individual states have many reasons to encourage a strong innovation and commercialization system for emerging technologies, including for energy technologies. New technologies can create new industries and improve the productivity and competitiveness of existing ones. These then can drive income and employment growth to benefit communities, states, and the nation.
In the energy arena, technological advances can support state energy policy objectives that include not only economic development opportunity but also energy affordability, reliability and resilience, and environmental sustainability.
According the Energy Futures Initiative and University of Maryland Global Sustainability Initiative, approximately 7,000 clean energy, or “clean tech”, companies exist across the United States, part of a broader energy technology “ecosystem” that includes hundreds of research universities, Federal and industrial research laboratories, public and private utilities, investors, state and local governments, and others.
State Energy Offices are well-positioned to advance energy technology-based economic development by offering programs, funding, financing, partnerships, and policies that can facilitate technological innovation and the commercialization of new and improved technologies. Through the NASEO Innovation Advisory Group, State Energy Offices can learn from one another as well as connect and partner with experts from laboratories, entrepreneurs, and the investment community on strategies for advancing energy technologies.