---- Public investment in basic research ----
More investment in low-carbon energy technology research, development and demonstration (RD&D)
is needed, including direct government funding, grants and...
private-sector investment. After years of
stagnation, government spending on low-carbon energy technologies has risen. But current levels still fall
well short of what is needed to deliver green growth (Figure 3.14). The current tight fiscal situations faced
by many governments may further limit public spending on energy-related R&D.
In 2009, governments of both the Major Economies Forum
Figure 3.14. Government RD&D expenditures in energy in IEA member countries: 1974-2009
and the IEA intervened directly in
energy markets in order to promote investment in low-carbon technologies, such as renewable energy
power plants, with a view to doubling investments in low-carbon RD&D by 2015. Such measures appear
to have had some success (Box 3.5).
However, simply increasing funding will not be enough to deliver the necessary low-carbon
technologies. Current government RD&D programmes and policies need to be improved by adopting best
practices in design and implementation. This includes the design of strategic programmes to fit national
policy priorities and resource availability; the rigorous evaluation of results and adjusting support if
needed; and the increase of linkages between government and industry, and between the basic science and
applied energy research communities to accelerate innovation. Examples of public support for RD&D in
low-carbon technology include the European Technology Platform Programme (2007-2013) and the
Innovation and New Technology programme support in Germany.
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