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Climate Technology Research, Development, and Demonstration : Funding Sources, Institutions, and Instruments

Author:
Resources for the Future (https://www.rff.org/)
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There is growing consensus among policymakers and stakeholders that an effective federal program to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions should include polices that hasten the development and commercialization of low- and no-carbon energy technologies, as well as technologies that increase end-use energy efficiency. Alongside policies such as a GHG cap-and-trade system that would directly mandate emissions reductions, policies that would instead target innovation and investment in GHG-reducing technologies have been much discussed. While both types of policies may be motivated by concerns about climate change, technology policies are generally framed in terms of technology-development activities or technology-specific mandates and incentives rather than primarily in terms of emissions. A wide range of options for promoting climate-friendly technologies is currently being employed or proposed at the federal and state levels. It is useful to roughly categorize these options according to which stage of the technology-innovation process they target: research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) or commercial deployment. After exploring various rationales for technology policy, this issue brief examines the funding sources, institutions, and policy instruments that have a potential role to play in enhancing RD&D efforts to advance climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies. A companion issue brief addresses options for promoting technology deployment, including mandates, financial incentives, and enabling regulations.

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