The brief shows that the rate of innovation in energy and climate change mitigation technologies (CCMTs) has increased, that international research cooperation is growing in developing countries and is supported by international technology-oriented agreements, and that international knowledge transfers of CCMTs should be further stimulated.
September 2012: A policy brief by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), titled “Energy and Climate Policy: Bending the Technological Trajectory,” analyzes innovation in energy and climate change mitigation technologies (CCMTs), international research cooperation on CCMTs, and the current and potential role of public policy in this respect.
The brief provides data on the rate of innovation in CCMTs, indicating that in particular for those technologies close to being competitive, such as wind, solar, biofuels, geothermal and hydropower, this rate has increased. Presenting data on international research cooperation, the brief also notes that non-Annex I countries of the Kyoto Protocol have become significant trade and research partners, while the majority of cooperation and technology transfers still happens among Annex I countries. The brief further highlights studies that indicate that facilitating international knowledge transfers can contribute significantly to improvements in combustion efficiency of fossil-fuel power plants.
The brief further discusses: the potential for a switch in innovation away from fossil fuels to renewable sources in case of increased oil prices; potential complementarities between public research and development (R&D) support on innovation in network infrastructure and renewable energy penetration in the grid; the stimulation of research cooperation by international technology-oriented agreements such as the International Energy Agency’s (IEAs) “Implementing Agreements,” which are complements to emissions-based agreements; and new avenues for policy research on the drivers of breakthrough innovations, targeted support for green innovation, and the role of international technology and knowledge spillovers. [Publication: Energy and Climate Policy: Bending the Technological Trajectory]