Financing Innovations for the Renewable Energy Transition in Europe
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Renewable energy sources are vital to achieving Europe’s 2030 energy transition goals. Technological innovation, driven by public expenditures on research and development, is a major driver for this change. Thus, an extensive dataset on these expenditures of the European Member States and the European Commission, dating back to the early 1970s, was created. This paper creates predictive scenarios of public investment in renewable energy research and development in Europe based on this historical dataset and current trends. Funding from both, European Member States and the European Commission, between today and 2030 are used in the analysis. The impact on the cumulative knowledge stock is also estimated. Two projection scenarios are presented: (1) business as usual; and (2) an advanced scenario, based on the assumption that the Mission Innovation initiative causes public expenditures to increase in the coming years. Both scenarios are compared to the European 2030 climate and energy framework target sets. Results indicate that Member States in Europe currently tend to fund renewables more than the European Commission, but funding from both sources is expected to increase in the future. Furthermore, the European Commission distributes its funding more equally across the various renewable energy sources than Member States.