Varun Sivaram Profile picture
15 Sep, 13 tweets, 9 min read
🚨🚨Today we're publishing Energizing America: A Roadmap to Launch a National Energy Innovation Mission! You can download it for free from @ColumbiaUEnergy or order the paperback on Amazon (#1 clean energy new release!). 🧵👇🏽on what it's all about (1/10)…
The US has a storied history of launching national innovation missions. They've delivered life-saving drugs, spawned the computer & internet revolutions, and put a man on the Moon. But we've never launched a serious, sustained innovation mission to combat climate change (2/10)
Time to change that—and seize this political window. A President Biden would make “the largest-ever investment in clean energy innovation" & bipartisan support in Congress is growing. (In rare show of resistance, Republican lawmakers raised funding by 25% over Trump years) (3/10)
Energizing America is a roadmap to triple federal funding for clean energy innovation to $25 billion by 2025. It's ambitious AND achievable. Lower than previous nat'l missions and today's health & defense innovation funding, but high enough to level playing field w/ China (4/10)
Innovation can speed decarbonization—investing in better & cheaper cleantech could be America's greatest contribution to global climate fight. HALF the reductions in a swift global net-zero transition must come from technologies that aren't yet commercially available ~@IEA (5/10)
But HOW should we spend $25 billion by 2025? A year ago, @JasonBordoff warned me that high-level funding targets weren't enough, and the next administration and Congress would need a detailed roadmap and 100-day plan to ramp up investments...right about now. (6/10)
So that's what we created—an instruction manual for the National Energy Innovation Mission. Ten technology pillars, representing critical decarbonization needs (many underfunded). Six strategic principles to maximize diversity. And a 100-day plan to hit the ground running (7/10)
Our proposal would see federal funding for DOE double—& rise even faster in other agencies w/ the capacity & mission (DOD, NASA, NSF, USDA). Underlying this, we created the most comprehensive database of federal clean energy RD&D spending (bc Trump stopped measuring it) (8/10)
After Inauguration 2021, there won't be any time to waste. The President must submit a first budget for FY22 & Congress will start holding hearings. So we've made detailed office & sub-office recommendations across the government, focusing on underfunded Technology Pillars (9/10)
I'm so lucky to have worked with incredible co-authors, both @ColumbiaUEnergy (David Sandalow, @CarbonWrangler) and @ITIFdc (@ProfDavidHart, @colincunliff), and we are deeply grateful to @Breakthrough for support on the project. Strap in, time to launch this mission! (10/10)
Bonus tweet #1: Shoutout to @GregGershuny, @SonalRShah, and the whole @PeteButtigieg crew, where we did some of the early analysis on defining a roadmap to $25B by 2025. #TeamPete
Bonus tweet #2: This volume took a village. My undying gratitude to @ArtealiaG (have you seen the website she designed??…), @FitzLJ, @NelsoninNewYork, @Gen_Mo11, & the whole @ColumbiaUEnergy team I can't find on Twitter. Same to phenomenal @ITIFdc team 🙏🏽🙏🏽
Bonus tweet #3: We're launching at @ClimateWeekNYC
—join us! Headlined by @LSRTweets, fmr US Dep Secretary of Energy, & @KathyCastorFL, Chair of House Select Committee on the @ClimateCrisis, and
@JasonBordoff, who conceived & supported the whole project!…

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More from @vsiv

30 Jul 18
THREAD: Tired of sifting hype from reality about blockchain & energy? So were we. So @DLatAC, @madisoncfreeman, @fiege_max, & I created the largest, freely-available dataset of global blockchain ventures & dug into the data in our NEW @CFR_org report:…
The least radical blockchain applications (think enhanced wholesale markets; NOT replacing centralized grid w P2P) are most likely to succeed & have meaningful impact by helping system operators manage increasingly complex grid. Our quick take on @Axios:…
But in blockchain's up-is-down world, the largest share of startups aim to upend incumbents and massively decentralize the electric power system. That's unlikely to work or add much value. So focus on the smaller slices of the pie, esp ventures working w/ incumbents & regulators
Read 8 tweets
25 Jun 18
THREAD: Our new book, "Digital Decarbonization," is OUT TODAY!! Read on 👇for previews of what our thirteen expert authors had to say. Then pick up a copy in paperback or Amazon Kindle (…) or download the whole book for free (…) (1/15)
Will the digital revolution speed a clean energy transition? @MichelsonEvan and I convened ~40 experts @CFR_org to discuss. In my book intro, I pull back the curtain on the vibrant debate we had, in which many worried digitalization might raise, not lower, GHG emissions (2/15)
A digital wave of venture capital is already flooding into cleantech. @StephenComello's (@StanfordEnergy) data show despite prior failures in PV, biofuels, batteries ("Wave 1"), VCs are investing more money in more deals in nimble, digital, energy-demand startups ("Wave 2) (3/15)
Read 15 tweets

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