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Bottom-up estimation of industrial and public R&D investment by technology in support of policy-making: The case of selected low-carbon energy technologies

  • Wiesenthal, Tobias
  • Leduc, Guillaume
  • Haegeman, Karel
  • Schwarz, Hans-Günther

This paper discusses a bottom-up approach to estimate the level of R&D investment by technology in areas where data are scarce. It develops a four-step methodology for the estimation of corporate R&D investments at technology level. This approach can overcome gaps in existing data by combining publicly available information in a novel way, even though it introduces some uncertainty. This is illustrated for a set of low-carbon energy technologies that were identified as key for meeting Europe's long-term energy and climate objectives by the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan. The paper finds that the aggregated R&D investments dedicated to these technologies amounted to €3.3billion in the EU in 2007, including public funding from European Union Member States and at EU-level, and industrial research activities from companies with headquarters registered in the EU. The results allow conclusions on the European energy research policy to be drawn, such as the dominance of industrial funds, and have provided significant input to the European policy making in this field. The paper ends with suggestions on how to further enhance the accuracy of the approach and how to widen its application to other sectors.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 41 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 116-131

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:41:y:2012:i:1:p:116-131
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

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  1. Tobias Wiesenthal & Guillaume Leduc & Hans-Gunther Schwarz & Karel Haegeman, 2009. "RandD Investment in the Priority Technologies of the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan," JRC-IPTS Working Papers JRC52225, Institute for Prospective and Technological Studies, Joint Research Centre.
  2. Nick Johnstone & Ivan Haščič & David Popp, 2010. "Renewable Energy Policies and Technological Innovation: Evidence Based on Patent Counts," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 45(1), pages 133-155, January.
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  6. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Popp, David, 2005. "Lessons from patents: Using patents to measure technological change in environmental models," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2-3), pages 209-226, August.
  8. Robert W. Fri, 2003. "The Role of Knowledge: Technological Innovation in the Energy System," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 51-74.
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  10. Ernst, Holger, 1998. "Industrial research as a source of important patents," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 1-15, May.
  11. Nemet, Gregory F. & Kammen, Daniel M., 2007. "U.S. energy research and development: Declining investment, increasing need, and the feasibility of expansion," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 746-755, January.
  12. Stavins, Robert & Jaffe, Adam & Newell, Richard, 2004. "A Tale of Two Market Failures: Technology and Environmental Policy," Discussion Papers dp-04-38, Resources For the Future.
  13. Unruh, Gregory C., 2000. "Understanding carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 817-830, October.
  14. Sagar, A. D. & Holdren, J. P., 2002. "Assessing the global energy innovation system: some key issues," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 465-469, May.
  15. Jamasb, Tooraj & Pollitt, Michael, 2008. "Liberalisation and R&D in network industries: The case of the electricity industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6-7), pages 995-1008, July.
  16. van Beeck, Nicole & Doukas, Haris & Gioria, Michel & Karakosta, Charikleia & Psarras, John, 2009. "Energy RTD expenditures in the European union: Data gathering procedures and results towards a scientific reference system," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 86(4), pages 452-459, April.
  17. Sagar, Ambuj D. & van der Zwaan, Bob, 2006. "Technological innovation in the energy sector: R&D, deployment, and learning-by-doing," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(17), pages 2601-2608, November.
  18. Unruh, Gregory C., 2002. "Escaping carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 317-325, March.
  19. Margolis, Robert M. & Kammen, Daniel M., 1999. "Evidence of under-investment in energy R&D in the United States and the impact of Federal policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(10), pages 575-584, October.
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