Investment Super Highway Prerequisite for Breakthroughs
Keynote Address by Bill Weihl, Google Green Energy Czar,
at the Cleantech Open 2009 Awards Gala
on December 1, 2009
While being optimistic that "the daunting [climate change] problems are solvable", and acknowledging the promises of new technologies and new business models, Bill Weihl alerts the audience that "we need more, we need really serious breakthroughs, and we need them soon to provide the technologies to deploy clean energy in scale", in a time frame that would allow us to address the climate crisis before it becomes irreversible.
To enable such breakthroughs, "really substantial and sustained R&D funding" is crucial. Policy drivers and market demands alone will be insufficient, and the current level of federal R&D spending in energy is dangerously low. "Unless something changes, we'll drive off the funding cliff sometime next year". Citing experts such as Susan Hockfield, President of MIT, and Prof. Daniel Kammen, Berkeley Institute of the Environment, Mr. Weihl calls for an energy-equivalent of the NIH, a magnitude of $30 billion annual funding, and an investment "Super Highway" to realistically deliver breakthrough solutions.
Tags: CleanTech Open, Google, Bill Weihl