"WASHINGTON — The debate over the future of energy innovation in the United States was renewed on Tuesday when a panel convened by the National Academy of Sciences released an in-depth report praising a key research office that President Trump wants to eliminate.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E, was created in 2007 under President George W. Bush to fund research into long-shot technologies, such as advanced batteries or algae-based biofuels, that might one day prove useful for tackling climate change and other energy challenges.
The animating idea was that private firms often lack the patience to invest in risky technologies that may take years to pay off. Solar companies, for instance, are often more focused on deploying today’s photovoltaic technology rather than searching for novel materials that could vastly improve the yield of solar cells a decade from now. A nimble energy agency, modeled after a similar program within the Pentagon, could fill those gaps."