Technology Utilization: Incentives and Solar Energy

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  28 Feb 1975:
Vol. 187, Issue 4178, pp. 707-713
DOI: 10.1126/science.187.4178.707


If the federal government is not going to be the major market for the application of federally funded R & D results, then the responsibility for bringing about technology utilization cannot be borne alone by the federal agency funding the R & D. That this problem is now being recognized is shown by the number of bills that were introduced in Congress in 1974, culminating in the Solar Heating and Cooling Act of 1974 (7).

An examination of the incentives for technology utilization in the conceptual framework of TDS (as shown in Fig. 4) reveals the following:

1) Incentives must be applied to each component of the TDS.

2) Different components in the TDS require different incentives.

3) Although information exists concerning a wide variety of incentives that are currently being used by various federal agencies to stimulate technology utilization, most of this information is in the form of raw data compiled by the respective agencies and a substantial effort will be required to collect, compile, and evaluate them.

4) All the components of a TDS must be activated if technology utilization is to occur on a self-sustaining basis. This makes experimental verification of a particular incentive on a particular component difficult.

5) A federal agency concerned with technology utilization can and should assume the responsibility for identifying all the components of the required TDS, devising incentives for each component and testing them to ensure their effectiveness. Where a TDS does not exist, the federal agency may have to assume the responsibility of creating one. The scope of this effort in many cases may transcend the present authority of the agency, and congressional action may be required to remedy this shortcoming.