Policymakers are seeking a transformation of the energy system driven by concerns about climate change, energy security and energy costs. At the same time, developments in underpinning science and engineering, for example in materials science, the biosciences and information and communication technologies are opening up new possibilities across the energy technology spectrum. A combination of these challenges and opportunites is driving a renaissance in energy innovation, encapsulated by substantial increases in both public and private energy R&D efforts. These efforts have been focused on both developing and deploying technologies capable of harnessing non-traditional energy sources, as well as those capable of improving the efficiency of extracting and consuming more traditional sources of energy. As support grows for energy innovation so too does the need to understand how energy innovation unfolds with a view to ensure that the vast  resources currently being committed to innovation in this sector are being deployed effectively.

The objectives of the research are to:

  • map out systems of energy innovation for a range of countries and technologies
  • measure the effectiveness of different arrangements by analysing suitable indicators
  • compare different approaches with a view to learning lessons for successful energy research and innovation policy

This will be achieved through:

  • documentary analysis and interviews with relevant experts and officials
  • the development, collection and analysis of innovation indicators covering all parts of the energy innovation system
  • testing hypotheses and findings against the views of experts inside and outside the countries concerned