The government didn't have to break up Western Union's monopoly on communication, Alexander Graham Bell did it without the investment or support of the US government. So why all of a sudden do we need government in energy innovation? And why does a private company like Google recommend government solutions? Google should focus on making money for its shareholders, and let governments do what it does best, which is start wars.
The experience I have shows, that always when markets get deregulated innovation will take place, because substituting through advanced technologies will be possible. For example Germany has a deregulated meter market, therefor you find the most advanced meters there. May be not yet biggest installed base, but with the highest functions for the future.
History tells the story like Terrell says. Innovation and investment must come from the private sector - but government plays a role - a HUGE one. If we had loads of time - well, then - we could leave the government out of it - but with other countries supersubsidizing and growing their innovative industries - there's a crying need for the government to assist.
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