At Energy Innovation 2010, clean energy advocates, policy experts, and public officials moved the clean energy policy debate in a new direction: an innovation strategy is required to develop the transformative technologies we need to address climate change, achieve energy independence and reap potentially vast economic benefits.

This debate continues amid ever more stark economic realities. Many continue to advocate a carbon pricing or cap-and-trade regime, tough mandates, and traditional regulations and standards even though most of these offer little chance of becoming law and would not likely be effective if enacted on their own. Others remain philosophically opposed to the government's role in spurring innovation even though it is clear that the costs and risks of developing these breakthroughs are simply too high for private companies to take on by themselves. Even if there was a strong consensus for an innovation-based strategy, we would have to ask the question of how to proceed in a cost-effective and efficient way.

As a result, the World Resources Institute, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, and others are again bringing together some of country’s foremost thinkers, scientists and innovators to look at clean energy innovation strategies in a time of fiscal austerity.

Energy Innovation 2011 is sponsored by the World Resources Institute, Breakthrough Institute, Bipartisan Policy Center, Third Way, Clean Air Task Force, Clean Energy Group, ITIF, the New England Clean Energy Council, and the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes.