This report explores the implementation of various R&D subsidies and other environmental policy instruments among the OECD countries from 1990-2015 and the relations of these policies to green innovation aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Here, green innovation is measured as patented ideas of the following technology categories: i) reductions of greenhouse gas emissions related to energy generation, transmission or distribution; ii) climate change mitigation technologies related to buildings and iii) climate change mitigation technologies for the production or processing of goods.
After 2005, there was clear growth in green innovation and an expansion of markets for energy from renewable sources. The development paths of the countries differ due to the different production structures and policies adopted. Our empirical analysis suggests that the adoption of white certificate schemes promoting end-user energy savings has facilitated the generation of green innovation. The data provide further support for the positive relationship between the stringency of fossil fuel taxation and green innovation.
The literature further suggests that carbon pricing and R&D subsidies are complementary policies. R&D subsidies play a substantial role in the early stages of the transition towards clean technologies. For mature technologies, the certificate system may serve as a cost-efficient means to fulfill renewable energy obligations. Renewable energy policies also tend to be more effective in countries with liberalized energy markets. Competition and policy actions that lower entry barriers enhance green innovation.
Publications of the Government’s analysis, assessment and research activities