At the annual MIT Energy Conference on Mar. 2- 3 in Cambridge, Mass., practitioners and entrepreneurs gathered to discuss their views about the future of energy. Throughout the conference, experts agreed that the world is transitioning to new energy sources and the next disruption may be around the corner. The panel “Energy Financing – From Idea to Investment and Onward” focused on how the industry can think about financing innovative projects that may struggle in a highly regulated market with big players.
Like a brilliant new TV show, new energy technologies must run the gauntlet of the pilot phase, soliciting interest from utilities and developers. In the electric industry, piloting new equipment can be particularly difficult because new, advanced energy-technology pilots must demonstrate that deployment won’t compromise the stability of the electric grid.
When the United States renewed funding for Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) on March 23 despite a proposal to defund this energy-innovation agency, what galvanized support for this decision? Two reports published in 2017 by the National Academies Press and Information Technology & Innovation Foundation showed why the agency plays a quiet but energetic role that moves industries forward.