Biden Administration Needs to Invest in Early-Stage Climate-Friendly Energy Tech

Source:; Future Tense |ALEX TREMBATH | January 15, 2021

Wind turbines on a field against a sunrise or sunset.
Wind energy is great. But we need more kinds of clean-energy technology to fight climate change. Karsten Würth/Unsplash

This article is part of the Future Agenda, a series from Future Tense in which experts suggest specific, forward-looking actions the new Biden administration should implement. On Wednesday, Feb. 3, at noon Eastern, Future Tense will host an online event to discuss what science, technology, health, and energy priorities the Biden administration should pursue. For more information and to RSVP, visit the New America website.

We still don’t have all the technologies we need to address climate change. Fortunately, the incoming Biden administration might have the biggest opportunity in more than a decade to drive innovation in climate-friendly technologies.

Consider the terrain. In December, for example, Kairos Power announced plans to build a prototype of its novel salt-cooled high-temperature nuclear reactor at the East Tennessee Technology Park, a campus of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Kairos, like dozens of other companies in the advanced nuclear power industry, hopes to build reactors that are smaller, simpler, and easier to manufacture and deploy that conventional nuclear technologies. Climate action will depend largely on the success or failure of companies like Kairos, and government agencies like the National Laboratories are deeply invested in their success.

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