The world can save an estimated $550 billion on the cost of deploying clean energy technologies over the next decade, putting them on a path to cost competitiveness, if countries work together to accelerate innovation by unlocking global collaboration, according to a report by Carbon Trust.
United Innovations: cost-competitive clean energy through global collaboration report estimates that $5 trillion will need to be invested into the deployment of low carbon energy technologies by 2025 – the costs that can be reduced by more than $550 billion through collaborative innovation.
While competition in the private sector remains essential, lack of collaboration between national programmes has resulted in a duplication of efforts and a waste of resources, the Carbon Trust states adding that the lack of effective coordination has also resulted in a number of hurdles emerging, such as misaligned incentives and contradicting regulatory regimes, which often prevent private sector involvement at scale.
In the report, the Carbon Trust calls for a new approach to enhance international efforts. The report highlights the urgent need to address serious barriers to the research, development and deployment of low carbon technology at a global level.
It also explains how this can be achieved through a new approach to partnership and adopting best practice models, which will enable governments and businesses to collectively create initiatives that deliver the energy technologies needed to keep global warming below 2 degrees.
The report includes five technology case studies with practical recommendations to illustrate the different types of initiatives that are needed to unlock global collaboration:
- Carbon capture and storage (CCS)
- Energy storage
- Offshore wind
- Smart grids and electricity networks
- Marine energy
The Carbon Trust has explored the individual innovation needs for each of these technologies, as well as the drivers for collaboration. Recommendations are made for specific project design and implementation.
When it comes to marine energy, the Carbon Trust states that wave energy requires additional research into components to improve reliability and a greater degree of convergence across designs. Tidal stream technologies however need to transition to initial array demonstration projects. Collaboration can aid in both cases by providing targeted innovation programmes and coordination, as well as support for demonstrations.
Infographic: The Carbon Trust