Renewable Energy RD&D Priorities

Insights from IEA Technology Programme

International Energy Agency

This comprehensive survey of renewable energy RD&D is intended to provide guidance for the mid- and long-term development of renewable energy technologies. RD&D investment in renewable energy technologies has declined over the past 18 years. At the same time, market deployment funding has increased, but the market share of renewables has decreased. Energy supply from technologies that were close to being competitive in the early 70s, such as hydropower, biomass combustion and geothermal, has not subsequently grown at the same rate as the total primary energy supply.

This book reviews the current status of the portfolio of renewable technologies and provides guidance on their development.  It explores the options for the RD&D to achieve breakthroughs that will lead to large-scale markets and identifies what activities should take priority.  It also looks at the benefits of increased RD&D funding in terms of technological advancement and cost improvement. Country reports provide information on national renewable RD&D budgets and programme trends.