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Ernez Moniz (L) and Dan Yergin (R). Photos: Jonathan Raa/Pacific Press/LightRocket; Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and IHS Markit Vice Chairman Dan Yergin teamed up on new joint report on energy innovation out today.

Why it matters: Innovation is an overused buzzword, but when the groups behind these two experts put their collective minds together, it’s worth reading. Moniz was energy secretary under President Obama and now leads his own think tank, Energy Futures Initiative. Yergin is a Pulitzer-Prize winning author and leads the energy practice at global firm IHS.

Details: The groups issued the report commissioned by Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a diverse group of companies and philanthropists ranging from oil companies to Bill Gates.

  • The report lists 10 types of technologies the private sector and government should prioritize, including storage and battery technologies, advanced nuclear reactors and management of carbon dioxide emissions, including sequestration.
  • The report recommends short and longer term changes to help do that, including more targeted public investment and a more electricity-focused agenda at the Energy Department.
“The purpose of the report is to provide a framework and a guide to people who want to invest in clean energy innovation. ... To give them a framework for where to put resources and what needs to work together to get to results, as opposed to just doing science projects.”
— Dan Yergin, vice chairman of IHS Markit

One level deeper: The report, running more than 200 pages, goes deep on details and specific recommendations, but avoids some of the thorniest parts of this debate — including whether to advocate for a price on carbon dioxide emissions.

  • The report acknowledges (on page 44) that clean-energy innovation is "especially formidable" in the face of low fossil-fuel prices and no external monetary price on the CO2 emitted from those fuels.
  • "I certainly think we will need to go eventually to some kind of pricing of carbon emissions," Moniz said.
  • Yergin was more circumspect, saying that the report doesn't advocate for it but that pricing is "one way to get there."
  • Carbon pricing systems are increasing around the world in number, but most of the prices aren't yet high enough to make a significant difference.

The bottom line: As long as there is not a price on carbon emitted from fossil fuels to encourage a change in behavior, innovation in non-emitting energy technologies will find it tough to compete long term.

Go deeper: Read the whole report here.

Go deeper

54 mins ago - World

Soldiers seize power in Burkina Faso as global coup surge continues

Mutinous soldiers in Burkina Faso declared on state television Monday that they had deposed the government, closed the borders, and taken control of the country. President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré has reportedly been arrested.

The big picture: This would be the third successful military coup in west Africa in eight months, after juntas took power last year in Guinea and in neighboring Mali.

2 hours ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.

Updated 3 hours ago - Economy & Business

S&P 500 on track for worst-ever start to year

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Stocks suffered their steepest drop of the year early Monday, putting the S&P 500 on course for its worst-ever start to a year.

Driving the news: The benchmark S&P 500 dropped for its fifth straight day, with losses nearing 3% in early trading, momentarily putting it on track to fall into a "correction." Some of the steepest losses were recovered in early afternoon trading.

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