Global gaps in clean energy research, development, and demonstration

Dec 2009

This paper, prepared in support of the Major Economies Forum (MEF) Global Partnership by the International Energy Agency, seeks to inform decision making and prioritisation of RD&D investments and other policies to accelerate low-carbon energy technologies in the MEF and IEA member countries and others by providing three primary sets of information: (1) estimated current levels of public2 RD&D spending for the technology areas initially targeted by the MEF; (2) future RD&D priorities for these technologies, based on the IEA roadmaps and other efforts; and (3) an assessment of the gap between current levels of technology ambition and the levels that will be needed to achieve our shared climate change goals by 2050; concluding with suggestions for next steps that can be taken to advance the technologies.
This paper maps ten categories of low-carbon energy technologies/practices, including bioenergy (including biofuels and biomass combustion for power and heat).
This exercise includes available data and results for all 17 members of the MEF, including European Union spending that was clearly additional to member state spending. The discussion provides the following information for each of the focus technologies:

  • Current RD&D spending levels (based on MEF country reporting of RD&D expenditures levels)
  • Research and demonstration priorities (as identified in the IEA technology roadmaps and other efforts)
  • An analysis of the gap between current funding levels and levels that will be needed to achieve international climate change goals (using the goals of the IEA Energy Technology Perspectives BLUE Map scenario, which aims to achieve a 50% reduction in energy-related CO2 emissions from 2005 levels by 2050)

By: International Energy Agency (IEA)

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