This report “Reimagine Clean Energy Technology and U.S. Industrial Policy” is published as part of the U.S. National Industrial Policy Strategy project at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Although the United States was an early leader in clean energy R&D and continues to make major technological advances, it has, over time, fallen behind in the commercialization and manufacturing of the technologies developed domestically. This study reviews U.S. industrial policy for clean energy sectors and argues that other economies have more frequently used proactive industrial policies to support the development of domestic clean energy technology industries.

The report develops four recommendations to improve the competitiveness of domestic clean energy industries. First, the United States should establish a state development bank that could fund domestic manufacturing projects in sectors, such as clean energy. Second, the U.S. government should ramp up investments in vocational training programs. Third, the federal government should set stable regulatory requirements and binding targets for clean energy markets. Fourth, the United States should limit the use of trade restrictions as industrial policy tools and instead focus on improving the competitiveness of domestic clean energy firms through proactive industrial policies.

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