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:

  • GSA/DOE Green Proving Ground FY24 RFI for Technologies that Support Net-Zero Carbon Buildings - The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), in collaboration with the U.S. DOE, has issued the FY24 request for information (RFI) for technologies that can enable energy efficiency, drive decarbonization and support the transition to a more efficient electric infrastructure. This year’s RFI seeks emerging and sustainable technologies that support: (1) Deep Energy Retrofits, (2) All-Electric Buildings and Vehicle Fleets, (3) Net-Zero Operations, (4) Healthy and Resilient Buildings, (5) Building Commissioning and Control. Submissions should be early- or underutilized-commercial technologies ready for evaluation in occupied, operational buildings. The RFI is open until December 8, 2023, 11:59 PM ET. For more on this RFI click here. An informational webinar will be held November 9, 2023 at 1:00 pm ET (click here to register). [See GSA Center for Emerging Technologies YouTube channel for this and other Green Proving Ground and Pilot-to-Portfolio webinars]

  • The Department of Defense's (DoD) Energy and Environment Innovation Symposium is the nation’s largest conference focusing on the DoD's priority environmental and energy issues. The Symposium will offer a variety of technical sessions and short courses, over 500 technical poster presentations, and networking opportunities. Among sessions of interest: Electrification and Installation Energy Resilience, Building Decarbonization, Ground Vehicle Hybridization and Electrification, Sustainable Materials Recovery (including critical materials), Powering the Force, and SERDP and ESTCP Funding Opportunities.The Symposium will be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia from November 28 to December 1, 2023.

  • 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 also 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). Additional information is available via the ENERGYWERX website.

  • 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. 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.