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Crossing the Valley of Death: Policy Options to Advance the Uptake of Energy-Efficient Emerging Technologies in US Industry
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Plant managers around the world are interested in improving the energy efficiency of their facilities while both growing and modernizing their manufacturing capabilities. Emerging industrial technologies, both at the component-level and system-level, are one important means of capturing significant, lasting efficiency gains. Public policy can play a decisive role in enabling and encouraging industrial energy efficiency, whether the efficiency improvements come through equipment upgrades or best operating practices. In the United States the industrial sector is impacted by many policies-fiscal and monetary, economic development, energy pricing, climate legislation, tax code, and direct subsidies, among others-all of which help shape the strategy and health of American manufacturers. This paper examines the market conditions and policy measures that affect the commercialization and adoption rate of promising, new energy-efficient industrial technologies. Market maturity, macroeconomic health, public and private investment, perceived risk, organizational decision-making, and regulatory certainty are all factors that influence the market penetration of emerging industrial technologies. Understanding their interplay is crucial to providing a policy environment that fosters industrial energy efficiency. In addition to a thorough literary review, this paper draws from a series of discussions with research experts, government officials, academics, equipment manufacturers, technical experts, trade representatives, and leading spokespersons from industry in the US. Authors then distill key findings into a suite of policy options that can help catalyze private technology investment and increase the uptake of emerging, energy-efficient, industrial technologies. Proposed policy options are organized within four central themes: 1) Greater emphasis on emerging technologies within existing energy efficiency activities; 2) Emerging technology at the intersection of energy efficiency and air quality priorities; 3) Diffusion of reliable information and technical data; and 4) Alignment and coordination of public and private activities.
Harris, J.; Bostrom, P.; Lung, R. B. (2011). Crossing the Valley of Death: Policy Options to Advance the Uptake of Energy-Efficient Emerging Technologies in US Industry. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from