The Challenge

We Face an Unprecedented Challenge:

Double the world’s energy supply while zeroing out CO2 emissions by 2050

Half of the world’s 7 billion and counting people are currently living in energy poverty.

Fossil fuel use (coal, oil, gas) is larger now than at any time in world history, with energy use expected to double by 2050, more than doubling C02 emissions (35 to 77 Gt).*

*MIT 2014 Climate and Energy Outlook

Regardless of significant efficiency gains, as developing countries move towards middle income levels, they will see substantial ‘first time demands’ (steel mills, refrigerators, cars, air conditioners, etc).

Meanwhile, ‘committed C02’ (emissions accrued from existing coal and nat gas plants) continue to rapidly eat up the carbon budget, in addition to annual emissions.

For example, existing coal plants from the power sector today (without carbon capture) will consume 40% of the remaining 500 GT we are able to emit (ever). In China, that would account for only half of all coal combustion.


To avoid this fate, nearly every major report by the UN and other authorities over the past several years have said we need to deploy a suite of zero-carbon energy options (i.e. renewables, nuclear, energy efficiency, carbon capture and sequestration).

The New Climate Economy
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

What We Do

Energy Options Network (EON) is an incubator created to multiply and accelerate the portfolio of zero carbon energy options available to tackle climate change.

Policy (very often) follows possibility, therefore we work to move technologies from promising to ‘investable’ by collaborating with an array of stakeholders including innovative technology developers and entrepreneurs, companies exploring new business models, investors, and regulators. We also forge critical links between the US and China.

As most future energy system growth will likely take place in the developing world, we focus on technologies practical for application there.



How We Work

  • Work Top Down: with CEO’s, investors, and other thought leaders to see the full scope of the world’s current energy and environmental system, as well as the wide range of possible changes.
  • Work Bottom Up: in collaboration with ‘pre-investable’ developers and entrepreneurs, policy analysts, and other experts on the nuts and bolts of advancing breakthrough projects (i.e., design business models/capital structures/supply chains/address IP issues, etc).
  • Focus on Niche Markets: to move early projects.
  • Build Networks: link typically silo’ed doers and capital players – i.e., NGCC/CCS project developers with EOR practitioners with Chinese financiers.
  • Stay Opportunistic: acknowledge the dynamic nature of energy and obstacles encountered – i.e., unprecedented large energy project capital cost escalation, precipitous and unanticipated gas price declines, etc. – shifting efforts as appropriate.

Criteria for Technology Selection

Because our mission is to multiply and accelerate zero carbon technology options available for large-scale, affordable, market-based decarbonization of the global economy over a wide range of future scenarios, the following are EON’s criteria for selection:

  • Real energy technology options: Large-scale change cannot occur unless the solutions are real possibilities that are functionally adequate and demonstrated.
  • Available: The solutions must be ready to be broadly implemented, at commercial scale, commercial risk levels, and commercially financeable.
  • Large-scale: The global economy is likely to grow by a factor of four by 2050, and global energy demand could potentially grow by a factor of 10 this century. We need energy solutions that can be deployed faster, and at a larger scale, than any energy technology has been in history.
  • Affordable: No solution will ultimately be able to achieve the necessary scale unless it is affordable. Solutions need to be either economically competitive with carbon-emitting alternatives or have sufficiently small incremental costs to make the policy drivers needed to deploy them politically feasible. Even if there were a consensus around policy backed by real political will, we would still need to use the power of the market to make changes of the necessary scope. Targeted policies can support this process, but policy cannot be relied upon to be the primary driver of large-scale deployment for the foreseeable future.
  • Global: Solutions must be available for the many different contexts beyond today’s developed world. Nearly all population growth and at least three-quarters of energy demand growth this century will occur in developing countries. Political, cultural, economic, and energy resource contexts will vary widely across those regions, requiring energy technology solutions appropriate to diverse contexts.

Our Team

Advisory Committee