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In 2021, public RD&D spending on low-carbon1 energy technologies significantly increased in IEA member countries to reach USD 22 billion, or 95% of total budgets, driving the fifth consecutive annual increase of total spending, after five years of decreases. Spending for non-low-carbon2 energy technologies has increased for the first time since 2013 to reach USD 1068 million.

Evolution of public low-carbon energy RD&D budget in IEA member countries, 1974-2021


Most individual countries increased investments in low-carbon RD&D in 2021 though at a lower rate than in 2018. In Germany, low-carbon energy RD&D budgets are estimated to have grown by 8% or an additional USD 113 million; the second largest increase was in Norway with an increase of USD 100 million.

Variations in public low-carbon energy RD&D budgets for selected IEA countries and the European Union, 2021

Notes and references
  1. In the current IEA categorization of RD&D energy technologies, low-carbon energy technologies are defined as: energy efficiency, carbon capture and storage (CCS), renewable energy sources, nuclear, hydrogen and fuel cells, other power and storage, and other cross-cutting technologies and research.

  2. In the current IEA categorization of RD&D energy technologies, non-low-carbon energy technologies represent coal, gas, oil and other fossil fuel RD&D, excluding CCS.