In an email I received from Ed Reid, a very smart energy industry and policy expert I know, he makes the following observations about my post on fuel-cell powered mobile electronics:

You are absolutely right about trying to pick winners. Parallel research programs are expensive, but experience has proven that they are not wasteful. The research is also far less expensive than development, demonstration and deployment (the rest of the RDD&D process). I have seen many programs judged by some to be “sure winners” fail; and, I’ve seen a few “losers” succeed. I’ve also seen elements of multiple unsuccessful programs combined to produce a success. However, for cross-licensing to succeed, there must first be technology to license.