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 Opens $30M+ Voucher Program to Advance Clean Energy Demonstration and Commercialization: DOE has opened a voucher program to connect U.S. entrepreneurs; businesses; technology developers; state, Tribal and local governments; and other partners with third-party voucher providers to advance demonstration and commercialization of innovative energy technologies. This program was developed by the Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) in partnership with the Offices of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED), Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM), and Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). This is a call to businesses, non-profits, National Labs, and others providing commercialization support in the clean energy space. Vouchers can be used to access test-bed performance validation capabilities, industry certification testing, technical and business maturation services, siting/permitting support, and other commercialization assistance. Opportunities include (1) Pre-Demonstration Commercialization Support (OCED/EERE), (2) Performance Validation, Modeling, and Certification Support (OCED/EERE), (3) Clean Energy Demonstration Project Siting/Permitting Support (OCED/EERE), (4) Commercialization Support (EERE), and (5) Commercialization Support (FECM). Potential providers should make submissions no later than September 26, 2023. An informational webinar/objective strategic session (IW/OSS) will be held on September 12, 2023, 2:00pm-4:00pm ET (click here to register). Additional information is available via the ENERGYWERX website.

  • NYSERDA announces $18M NextGen Buildings Innovation Challenge for projects that offer advanced building technologies for clean HVAC systems, building envelopes, and controls, including a new challenge area to advance intelligent building control solutions -- development and commercialization of technologies that manage energy assets and electrical loads that will further enable decarbonization and electrification. Informational webinar August 15 2023, 1:00pm ET and proposal submission workshop August 22, 2023, 1:00pm ET. The application deadline is September 27, 2023, 3:00pm ET.
  • Recruitment is underway for the IMPEL program FY'24 cohort. IMPEL is a DOE tech-to-Market program focused on building technologies, funded by the Building Technologies Office and implemented by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to help early state individuals from business, academia, and DOE's national labs translate the premise and promise of their technology into the language of business, boosting their chances of bringing it to market. Register for the kickoff August 21, 2023, 12:30pm ET webinar here and apply for they FY'24 cohort here.
  • 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.
  • DoD SERDP and ESTCP 2023 projects announced, including demonstration/validation of Installation Energy and Water technologies.