Implications for Energy Innovation from the Chemical Industry
In: Accelerating Energy Innovation: Insights from Multiple Sectors
The history of innovation in the chemical industry offers many insights for accelerating energy innovation. In this chapter, we begin by laying out the early history of the chemical industry for an overview of the role innovation has played in its development. We then explore three noteworthy historical experiences. We describe the switch in feedstocks from coal to oil, and briefly analyze two government programs that have attempted to promote innovation: synthetic rubber and synfuels. We take a close look at the role that specialized engineering firms have played in the diffusion of important innovations, and we detail the effect that government policies have had on fostering innovation. In particular, we highlight the role of anti-trust policies, and of policies for protecting intellectual property rights.
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