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Necessary changes in R and D in the energy and environmental sector. A way towards a future low energy and low emission industrial society

: Jochem, Eberhard

Inose, H. ; National Institute of Science and Technology Policy -NISTEP-, Tokyo:
Science and technology policy research. What should be done? What can be done? : the proceedings of the NISTEP International Conference on Science and Technology Policy Research ; held in Izu-Shimoda, Japan from February 2 to February 4, 1990
Tokyo: Mita Press, 1991
ISBN: 4-89583-080-2
International Conference on Science and Technology Policy Research <1, 1990, Izu-Shimoda, Japan>
Fraunhofer ISI ()
energy; environment; external cost; externe Kosten; Forschungspolitik; Hemmnis; incrementalism; Inkrementalismus; obstacle; research policy; subsidies; Subvention; Technologiepolitik; technology policy; Umwelt

In the 1970s and 1980s, research and development (R and D) in the energy field in all OECD countries was concentrated on energy supply. Rational energy use was considered as a minor "energy source"; its funding level of public R and D never exceeded 10% (average for the OECD) of total expenditure on energy research. The reasons for this priority pattern are discussed. The threat of global warming due to energy-related greenhouse gases forces the change in R and D priorities. R and D on energy conservation has to change from its add-on technology character (heat exchangers, heat pumps, microelectronic controls, heat insulation) to more basic innovations to reduce useful energy demand, such as - substitution of energy-intensive processes - introduction of new materials (ceramics, compounds) - recycling of energy-intensive materials - introduction of renewable raw materials (biomass for basis organic chemicals). The necessary shift of priorities in energy R and D is difficult to achieve b ecause of the huge variety of technological options for improving energy efficiency and because potential decision makers are widely dispersed. A similar situation is in the environmental sector. R and D on low emission technologies has been relatively small compared to end-of-pipe technologies. The necessary shift of R and D priorities, again in this second field, will be difficult because industries and consumers are likely to oppose necessary changes in production processes and consumption patterns.