At a clean energy summit today, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that, over the long-term, government support allows innovation to thrive.
The American idea of innovation centers on a lonely genius toiling in his lab or experimenting out in the field. That’s how Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb, Alexander Graham Bell created the telephone, and the Wright Brothers launched the first airplane. But the Wright Brothers didn't create the aerospace industry alone—that required some institutional support. Building on that idea, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu argued today at a clean energy summit in Las Vegas that, over the long-term, government support allows innovation to thrive.
The summit, which is in its fourth year, is convened by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and partners from the academic, business, and think tank worlds. Chu said in a speech this morning that the federal government must help incubate clean energy innovation in order for the country to prosper.