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The IEA’s work on energy innovation under the World Energy Investment report and the Clean Energy Transitions Programme (CETP) complements the collection and dissemination of IEA member country RD&D budget data by assembling available information on non-IEA government and private sector spending trends, in a sustained effort to increase coverage beyond official data submissions to the IEA.

In 2021, the global public energy RD&D budget reached about USD 38.4 billion, confirming the upward trend that began in 2017 after several years of decline. The growth was mostly driven by China and Europe, while public spending in energy R&D stagnated in North America.

Global public energy RD&D budget, 2015-2021

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Under Mission Innovation (MI), fifteen IEA member countries and the European Union, as well as key emerging economies such as Brazil, China and India, pledged in 2015 to double their public clean energy R&D spending over five years. While there are differences between IEA and MI classifications and countries, IEA data show that estimated global public low-carbon energy RD&D spending rebounded in 2017 following two years of decline, and it has been on the rise since then, reaching a new high in 2021 at about USD 32.4 billion. As with total spending, this growth was driven by China and Europe. Notably, public spending in low-carbon energy R&D grew slightly faster than total energy R&D budgets, at about 6% year-on-year growth rate.

Global public low-carbon energy RD&D budget, 2015-2021

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