Standards, warranties and commercialization of new energy technologies
Several federal energy programs aim to "commercialize" new energy tech- nologies, i.e., to bring them from research to the market. Product standards and warranties are sometimes a part of these programs. Yet the benefits which the standards and warranties are to achieve are rarely articulated, and how these benefits will be achieved is often even less clear. This article takes the view that the substantive goals of standards and warranties can be articulated. It examines the functions of standards and warranties and the processes which produce them, and casts their effects in terms of impacts upon the new technology's demand, supply and industrial market structure. The relevance of these impacts upon commercialization programs is then discussed, covering the role of standards in the new in- dustry's development, the need for standards and warranties in demonstration projects and in the private financing of new energy systems, and mechanisms for development of standards and warranties. The need for basic research on standards and warranties is then addressed.
MIT Energy Laboratory
Commercial products |x Standards |z United States.
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