Governments Plan to Improve Clean Energy Effort

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Mission Innovation partners came together at the first Mission Innovation (MI) Ministerial last week. At the event, ministers from all over the world revealed their governments’ five-year plans to double clean energy research and development funding. This year the European Commission, on behalf of the European Union, was also welcomed as the 21st partner.

Collectively, these 21 partners represent well over 80 percent of global public investment in clean energy research and development, currently totalling approximately $15 billion per year. The 21 partners have each pledged to seek a doubling in their governmental and/or state-directed clean energy research and development investment over five years, reaching around a combined $30 billion per year by 2021. These efforts under Mission Innovation represent an unprecedented acceleration of research and development efforts for innovative clean energy technologies.

Ministers also met with leaders of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition and other leading energy investors, underscoring the critical link between government innovation and entrepreneurship to bring affordable clean energy technologies to market.

In recent years, thanks to advances in research in many places worldwide, there has been remarkable progress in driving down the cost of key technologies by 40 to 90 percent, notably in land-based wind power, rooftop and utility solar, electric car batteries, and LED lighting.

As costs have dropped, demand has surged. These successes show the power of innovation – driven by sustained public investment in research and development coupled with business leadership – to bring once fledgling ideas into the mainstream.

These impressive gains, however, are still insufficient to meet our long-term climate goals, while providing affordable, reliable, and secure energy supplies. Reducing the cost of clean energy technologies still further – driven by innovation and public-private investment in research and development – will underpin global strategies to enhance global energy security, drive economic growth, bring life-changing energy services to the poor and increase ambition in combatting climate change.

Under Mission Innovation, each MI partner independently determines a strategy for clean energy innovation funding based on individual national resources, needs, and circumstances. MI partners also encourage mutually beneficial engagement with other partner countries in international collaborations.

At the first ministerial, MI Ministers formed a Steering Committee, adopted an Enabling Framework, and agreed to a mission statement to help provide a foundation for accelerated progress. MI partners also issued the preliminary results from an analysis of existing technology roadmaps where a number of countries have already identified initial tangible opportunities for additional collaboration.

During the ministerial, each government also provided information on national clean energy needs, plans, priorities, and supporting policies and programs for clean energy innovation. A series of webinars over the coming months will provide an in-depth look on a country-by-country basis. Schedule and registration information for the webinars are available on the MI website.

Ernest Moniz, U.S. Secretary of Energy, said: “Our support for Mission Innovation is crucial to funding the basic scientific research and development that will underpin the advanced clean energy solutions needed to combat climate change in the 21st century. These technologies will help drive down adoption costs to grow low-carbon economies and create an entirely new markets for the solutions that will reduce heat trapping emissions.”

Maroš Šefčovič, European Commission Vice President for Energy Union, said: “The European Commission is honoured to be part of Mission Innovation. Scaling up clean energy innovation is key to the success of the European Energy Union and to the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. It also represents a major global economic and industrial opportunity. Mission Innovation therefore coheres perfectly with our upcoming research, innovation and competitiveness strategy.”

Pedro Joaquin Coldwell, Mexican Secretary of Energy, said: “The clean energy R&D investment by MI members represent a transformative public investment to support clean energy development and provides a clear direction of the areas in which each country has decided to move forward, including areas of high technological risk and uncertainty. Patient and long term investment from private sector will be key to complement public investment to accelerate these technologies to the market.”

Sudirman Said, Indonesian Minster of Energy, said: “Indonesia is committed to accelerate the innovation and investment in clean energy. We pledged to increase our state research and development budget on clean energy nine times over the next 5 years with the intention to boost our nation capabilities, to attract investment and to work with our neighbours to promote clean energy revolution in the region.”

Harsh Vardhan, Indian Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, said: “I am pleased to note that Ministers have endorsed the recommendations made by MI countries and subgroups will now work together to lead the objective of Mission Innovation. I would like to reaffirm India’s commitment to pursue green path to growth through Research Innovation and Joint Collaboration.”

The Honourable Jim Carr, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Innovative technologies will play a key role in Canada’s transformation into a low-carbon economy. By doubling our investment in clean and emissions-reducing energy technology, we will help meet our climate change objectives, increase the productivity and competitiveness of Canadian firms and create clean jobs.  We look forward to working with our domestic and international partners to help advance our Mission Innovation goals.”

Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “Clean energy is the future, so research and innovation must be at the forefront of our efforts to create sustainable, low-carbon economies. In contributing to Mission Innovation, the European Commission aims to use the European Union’s leadership and political commitment to the development of low-carbon technologies, while sharing its extensive experience in coordinating international research and innovation collaboration, to accelerate the clean energy revolution.”

Matar Hamed Al Neyadi, Undersecretary of Energy at UAE, said: “Over the last decade, the UAE has led the growth of clean energy in the region and established solid foundations upon which to build a green economy for future generations. The nation has adapted its energy sector to clean energy and has endorsed policies and initiatives to improve energy efficiency.”

Maarten Camps, Netherlands Vice-Minister of Economic Affairs, said: “As EU Presidency we fully support the European Mission Innovation membership. In accordance with the EU’s ambitions I am pleased to announce The Netherlands’ candidacy for Mission Innovation, with the aim of becoming a full member during COP22 in November in Marrakech. Mission Innovation membership supports our ambitions relating to clean energy innovation.”