Abraham Energy Report Urges Energy Tech Revolution
As President Barack Obama and members of Congress consider adopting a comprehensive energy strategy to address the nation's critical energy needs, they should look at leveraging scarce federal dollars to motivate private investment in energy technology to develop long-term solutions.
In the new issue of the Abraham Energy Report (AbrahamEnergyReport.com) published today, former U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham and ICx Technologies Chairman and CEO Hans Kobler recommend that President Obama act decisively to ensure that the United States has access to the energy technologies it will need to survive the next energy crisis. Kobler previously headed the GE Power Technology Investment Group and was the Chief Quality Officer leading the six-sigma effort at GE Equity.
“To do this right, we must first focus government dollars on technologies that can stand on their own economically — ones that do not require continued subsidies to succeed. To do that, the Government should enlist partners that recognize and contribute to the understanding of a very complex marketplace — the needs of the consumer, the existing infrastructure, and the regulatory environment — and put them side-by-side with the capabilities of tomorrow's technologies.
For that private/public partnership we recommend two vehicles: an advanced federal energy research agency and the creation of strategic innovation funds.
Innovations sparked by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) throughout its 50 years of existence have been critical to the nation's success. Recently, DARPA's director, Dr. Anthony Tether, estimated that one-third of the developments in information technology and more than 75 percent in microelectronics started with DARPA. These two areas have driven enormous U.S. economic growth. DARPA's remarkable success has been attributed to funding ideas with a high degree of technical risk but a potentially revolutionary payoff.
Strategic investment funds should also be considered. Much innovation has been sparked by 'angel' investors and venture capital firms, which have enabled brilliant engineers to pursue new approaches and bold ideas with often game-changing outcomes.
We advocate a similar private/public partnership for strategic energy investment. Simply put, the government sets up funds with professional managers who work to stimulate technologies that will reduce our energy dependence. Just as GE Power Systems works with GE Equity, key government agencies and laboratories such as Sandia and the National Renewable Energy Lab should work with industry partners to help fund investment decisions.”
About the Abraham Energy Report
The Abraham Energy Report is a new subscription-based monthly newsletter which offers a unique blend of timely and exclusive insights into global energy markets coupled with sharp analysis of geopolitics and energy policy. The Report's Publisher and Editor is former U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, who currently serves as chairman and CEO of The Abraham Group LLC in Washington, D.C.