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.

New and Recent:

  • DOE Selects 100+ Small Businesses, Organizations, and National Labs to Accelerate Clean Energy Technology Adoption: The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Clean Energy Demonstration, in collaboration with the Office of Technology Transitions and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, announced the selection of 111 entities that will receive vouchers to advance their clean energy technologies. The in-kind commercialization support will be provided by 33 supporting organizations in the form of DOE-funded vouchers, valued at roughly $9.8M.  Learn more.

  • The Department of Defense's (DoD) Defense Innovation Unit Net Zero Buildings Solicitation: DoD seeks to prototype novel design, construction techniques, and materials in order to improve the energy and water efficiency for its new building construction.  To do this, Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) is seeking new turnkey approaches for net zero design and construction of new buildings.  Responses due January 19, 2024, 11:59:59 pm ET.

  • Adoption Readiness Levels (ARL): A Complement to TRL - To get to deployment, a technology must be de-risked, and ecosystem economics established so all players in the value chain have a viable economic model. Managing a technology portfolio solely through the well-understood and widely used Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) stage-gates is not enough. To describe adoption risks, the DOE Office of Technology Transitions (OTT), in partnership with others, developed an Adoption Readiness Level (ARL) framework to complement TRL. The framework assesses the adoption risks of a technology along 17 dimensions in four core areas, which is translated into a readiness score, representing the readiness of a technology to be adopted by the ecosystem. The Commercial Adoption Readiness Assessment Tool (CARAT) that integrates these dimensions into an assessment of ARL can be downloaded here.

  • U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), in collaboration with DOE, announced that it will invest $30 million from the Inflation Reduction Act to increase the sustainability of federal buildings by testing novel technologies through the Green Proving Ground (GPG) program.
  • DOE Boost is a partnership of Sandia National Lab and FedTech to advance the innovation ecosystem for energy technologies in Alaska and New Mexico.