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The Hill (Opinion): To Cash In on Innovation, Remove Market Barriers for Advanced Energy Technologies

Posted by Dylan Reed and Jeff Dennis on Aug 13, 2019
The Hill published our view on how to unleash advanced energy innovation by removing market barriers. See excerpts below and read the entire Hill piece here and AEE's summary of 20 market barriers here.
 
Innovation is a central part of American life. Ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit have led to the development of new products and technologies that improve upon traditional options. Whether it’s the new iPhone or Uber, the technological leaps that come from innovation benefit consumers and the economy overall.
 

Recently, politicians have focused on innovation as the solution to challenges associated with energy, especially climate change. From the Democratic presidential campaigns of Joe Biden, Jay Inslee, and Elizabeth Warren to Republican lawmakers like Sens. Thom Tillis, Ben Sasse, and Cory Gardner, we hear a call for innovation as the energy cure-all.

Generally speaking, these calls for innovation mean using taxpayer dollars for research and development in new technologies to achieve deep reductions in carbon emissions. This is a role traditionally played by the federal government and it is essential for technological progress. But just as important is making sure that these innovations get the chance to prove themselves in the market. Without the chance to compete with traditional products, no innovative technology will get the private-sector investment needed to deliver benefits to consumers, the economy, and the environment.

Fortunately, there are reforms that can attract bipartisan support and unleash private sector innovation to grow the economy, create millions of jobs, lower the cost of energy for American households and businesses, and, yes, dramatically reduce carbon emissions...

Advanced Energy Economy has detailed over 20 case studies of regulatory barriers that discriminate against innovative, clean, and cost-effective energy options in competitive energy markets. Some markets prevent wind and solar farms from getting paid for key services to the grid that traditional power plants like coal receive...

Our case studies not only point out current regulatory barriers, but also show how they can be overcome when policymakers and regulators work together to foster innovation for the benefit of consumers and the grid. Leaders on both sides of the aisle are now seeing the opportunity to capitalize on innovation in these markets, and steps have been taken to address some of these barriers...

Advanced energy has made great strides as an industry, providing affordable, reliable, and clean power to Americans, pumping $238 billion into the economy, and supporting 3.5 million jobs across the country... 

But companies that provide these technologies still encounter regulatory barriers that prevent their products and services from competing. Policymakers – whether in Congress or on the campaign trail – should follow through on their calls for innovation by ensuring that no market barriers stand in the way of new energy technologies...

Read the entire Hill piece here and AEE's summary of 20 market barriers here.
 

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