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Is the Fit Right? Considering Technological Maturity in Designing Renewable Energy Policy

This brief describes a number of policy tools that can be employed to drive investment in renewable energy technologies and discusses which policy options may be the best fit based on the commercial maturity of a targeted technology.

Key Findings

Executive Summary

Recent studies suggest that the United States can greatly expand its deployment of renewable energy resources beyond current levels. This would reduce emissions of harmful pollutants and enhance energy security by diversifying the nation’s domestic energy supply. This brief describes a number of policy tools that can be employed to drive investment in renewable energy technologies and discusses which policy options may be the best fit based on the commercial maturity of a targeted technology. We examine several policy tools to describe where they have been most effective to advance technology progress along the innovation chain. The findings and recommendations presented are based on a study of the literature on technology innovation and policy best practices, as well as on discussions with experts in the field, policymakers, and private sector companies involved in renewable energy projects.

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