On 12 October 2005, the Climate Policy Center and the German Marshall Fund of the United States conducted an international workshop designed to clarify and improve R&D strategy for climate change solutions. The one-day meeting helped experts in the United States and Europe focus on key strategic questions about relevant R&D priorities and policies. Senior Fellow Markus Knigge gave a presentation on the impacts of the German Renewable Energy Sources Act and the Eco-taxes on innovation and commercialization of clean technologies.
The next two years are likely to be a decisive period for climate related R&D Strategies. The London G8 follow-up meeting is the next important event. But the Gleneagles Summit also established opportunities to revisit the issue at each of the next two G8 summits. The US is embarking on a strategic planning process that should involve a serious reassessment of its current strategy. And the high level of international activity is likely to stimulate rethinking and reassessment in both individual European R&D programs and at the EU level. As the important R&D nations advance toward these key decision points, large controversies about strategic and institutional issues loom ever larger. Against this background, the specific goals of the workshop are to discuss and ultimately propose recommendations to address the three following areas of controversy:
- What should be the relative priorities of incrementally improving existing or near-term technologies versus work on more revolutionary options that may require more time?
- Are there organizational models that might improve the cost-effectiveness of both national and international public sector R&D efforts?
- What is the efficient division of labour between public sector and private sector R&D with regard to climate related technologies?
In his presentation, Markus Knigge, focused on the impacts of the German Energy Sources Act (EEG) and the Eco-taxes on innovation and market penetration of climate friendly technologies. Emphasis was given on the fact that government intervention is not only needed for basic research and long term R&D strategies, but also for technology deployment and commercialization of existing technologies. Adequate framework conditions in the markets are subsequently conducive to R&D efforts from the private sector.