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    The Carbon-Free Technology Initiative aims to achieve net-zero emissions in the U.S. electricity sector by promoting policies to ensure the commercial availability of affordable, carbon-free, 24/7 power technologies by the early 2030s. Learn More.

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time, and it is essential that we take aggressive action to tackle climate change while also delivering the reliable and affordable energy that powers the American economy.

Existing technologies can get us much of the way to a 100-percent clean energy future. Completing the work will require new, carbon-free, 24/7 technologies that are affordable for customers. 

Ultimately, technology will drive the timeline to a 100-percent clean energy future, and federal policies are a necessary catalyst to accelerate the pace of innovation and to ensure these technologies are demonstrated and commercialized in the time that electric companies need them.

We can meet the challenge of addressing climate change and develop the carbon-free technologies that will help the world meet this challenge.

Our organizations have joined together to form and advance the Carbon-Free Technology Initiative.


Our Policy Focus

Many of the CFTI’s policy recommendations across all technology areas address research and development, demonstration, deployment, and issues that have an impact on the cost or performance of a technology, such as siting and permitting. Our policy recommendations address the need for appropriations, authorizations, and tax and finance policies to advance these technologies.

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Key Facts
Carbon Emissions Lowest Level
In 40 Years
Carbon emissions from the U.S. power sector are at their lowest level in nearly 40 years–and will continue to fall.
More Than 40% of Electricity
From Carbon-Free Sources
40% of all U.S. power generation comes from carbon-free sources, including nuclear energy, hydropower, wind and solar energy.
3x Increase
In Total Spending
CFTI successfully recommends a tripling of total spending at the Department of Energy for research, development, and demonstration in power sector technologies in the next five years.
Demonstrated Successes
  • Increase the DOE R&D and ARPA-E budgets by two to four times current levels for carbon-free technologies over the next five years.
  • Establish a dedicated program to guide and support the demonstration of the portfolio of dispatchable carbon-free technologies needed by the electric industry to achieve deep carbon reductions. 
  • Establish technology-neutral incentives for the deployment of innovative zero-carbon technologies.
  • Provide funding to support integrated demonstrations on a wide range of hydrogen production and use cases (e.g., Hydrogen Hubs).
  • Amend existing federal incentives for commercial-scale carbon capture, particularly the Section 45Q tax credit for carbon sequestration, to drive faster project development. 
Key Technology Areas

The CFTI focuses on policy recommendations to advance key technology areas. We also support the creation of the domestic supply chain needed to deploy advanced clean energy technologies.


Zero carbon fuels are portable, storable, affordable, energy-dense fuels derived from hydrogen, ammonia, or synthetic hydrofluorocarbons made with carbon extracted from the air. They can help power the portions of the economy not served by electrification, including heavy-duty shipping and concrete.

Long Duration Energy Storage and Advanced Demand Efficiency

Advanced energy storage is storage that can hold energy for days, weeks, and months, allowing energy generated from zero-carbon sources like solar and wind to be stored across seasons. Demand efficiency refers to a range of new hardware and software solutions that increase grid efficiency to align customer demand with the availability of a variable energy supply from sources like renewables. As more renewable electricity is supplied to the grid, long-duration storage and advanced demand efficiency are important to taking full advantage of the benefits of wind and solar.

Carbon-Capture, Utilization, and Storage

Carbon capture technologies enable power plants and other industrial sources to capture carbon dioxide emissions, transport them, and either utilize them with emissions reductions impact or store them underground permanently. While carbon capture technologies have been demonstrated at a commercial scale, deployment of carbon capture in the power sector has been slow. Federal policy can bring down the cost of capture and enable the deployment of commercial-scale power sector projects.

Advanced Nuclear Energy

Nuclear energy produces carbon-free generation at scale. Advanced nuclear is a new kind of reactor that has the potential to offer additional safety features, decreased waste production, more efficient use of fuel resources, and reduced material inputs.

Increased funding is critical for advanced nuclear fission and fusion, which have the potential to achieve deep carbon reductions not only in the electric power sector, but also the transportation, building, and industrial sectors.

Advanced Wind and Solar Energy Systems

While the U.S. electric power industry has deployed gigawatts of wind and solar energy over the past decade, transformational innovations to increase efficiency and dispatchability and to reduce the costs of onshore wind and solar are still possible. Offshore wind is at a much earlier stage of commercial maturation, and innovation to improve the efficiency, cost, and performance of offshore technologies is needed.


By accessing deeper, hotter resources, super hot rock (SHR) geothermal could produce 10 times the energy per well compared to conventional geothermal. The potential of SHR geothermal is vast, scalable, and builds on existing industries for drilling and power production. SHR geothermal is in the early stages of research, development, and demonstration, but, given the small ecosystem for this technology, the learning curve could be rapid.

Additional Resources
CFTI Overview Briefing

September 25, 2021

CFTI Recommendations Briefing

July 28, 2023

Gener8 Podcast: Episode 8. A Discussion around the Future of Electricity and Grid Reliability

May 2023

Electric Perspectives: What’s Next for the Carbon-Free Technology Initiative?

April 15, 2022

'An Unlikely Alliance': U.S. Investor-Owned Utilities and NGOs Partner to Advance New Carbon-Free Tech

​Utility Dive, June 4, 2021

Electric Perspectives Podcast: Partnering on the Carbon-Free Technology Initiative

​May 12, 2021​

Achieving Clean Energy Goals With Advanced Carbon-Free Technologies

​Electric Perspectives, March/April 2021

America's Investor-Owned Utilities: We Can Achieve A 100% Clean Energy Future

​UtilityDive, January 26, 2021

Energizing America: A Roadmap to Launch a National Energy Innovation Mission

​September 15, 2020

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