Coherent R&D programmes for renewable energies are key elements in designing political strategies, not only for renewable energies but also for carbon mitigation. Enhancing the dialogue between science and policy is essential to achieve a consistent global approach which takes into account the maturity of the different renewable energy technologies.
This ISPRE report discusses two selected renewable technologies: photovoltaic and wind energy. Along with biomass, these are the technologies that are currently considered to have the greatest sustainable potential and widest applicability. Biomass is the subject of a separate preliminary report prepared by ISPRE. It is recognised that other renewable technologies, such as solar thermal power plants, solar thermal heating and cooling, geothermal energy, hydropower and marine energy (wave and tidal power) will also make a contribution to future global energy supplies.
This report (i) highlights the importance of R&D in renewable energy technologies, (ii) addresses the potential of the two selected technologies to contribute to a global sustainable energy supply system and (iii) gives detailed directions for further research and development.
The report shows how unevenly R&D activities in renewables are distributed worldwide. It argues that strong national and international efforts are necessary to establish and foster R&D in renewable energies in almost every country or region of the world.