Despite dependence on foreign oil that keeps countries like the US embroiled in the Middle East, and amid fears of global warming, research and development (R&D) funding for energy technologies has declined significantly during the last two decades throughout the industrial world. Investments in energy technology R&D, and in associated human and institutional capacity, are fundamental to our ability to respond to changing economic, energy, and environmental needs.Although there has been a recent wave of interest in R&D policy in general, and energy R&D in particular, this has not been translated into the needed increases in funding. In most OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) member countries, government energy technology R&D budgets have been declining significantly in real terms since the early 1980s. The trends are particularly troubling given the pressing need to develop and utilize the clean energy and low carbon fossil-fuel energy technologies that will be critical in meeting our future energy needs, while addressing the local and global environmental problems we are facing.

Read full text on ScienceDirect

DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(02)05533-5