JRC reveals low-carbon investment

The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre has undertaken a study that shows a total investment of €3.3bn in European research and development in low-carbon energy technologies in 2007.


The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) has undertaken a study that shows a total investment of €3.3bn in European research and development (R&D) in low-carbon energy technologies in 2007.

Technologies identified as a priority in Europe include wind energy, photovoltaics, concentrated solar power (CSP), bio-energy, carbon capture and storage (CCS), smart grids, nuclear fission, hydrogen and fuel cells and nuclear fusion.


The JRC research showed that in 2007, €2.38bn was invested in R&D on non-nuclear energy, of which €1.66bn came from the private sector. Expenditure on nuclear energy technologies came to €940m and was almost equally split between fission and fusion research.


Hydrogen and fuel cells related research showed a significantly higher than average expenditure of €616m. Concentrated solar power had the lowest level of investment at €86m with countries that had high public R&D funds also accounting for the largest corporate R&D investments.


The report indicates that 99 per cent of the total national R&D budgets on priority technologies originate from France, Germany, Italy, the UK, Denmark, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Finland and Austria.


France, Germany and Italy account for two-thirds of the public investment. For private investment, companies in Germany, France, the UK, Denmark, Spain and Sweden were found to account for more than 90 per cent of the total corporate R&D expenditure.