Much more must be done to develop energy efficient cars, buildings and domestic appliances to address climate change according to new research from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia.
A report published today in Nature Climate Change shows that twice as much effort is being spent on developing energy supply technologies - such as new power stations - than is spent on improving the efficiency with which energy is used.
The research shows that efficient end-use technologies have the potential to contribute large emission reductions and provide higher social returns on investment - so the imbalance in current innovation efforts must be redressed to mitigate climate change.
Dr Charlie Wilson, of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at UEA and an affiliated researcher with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), led the study with an international team of scientists from Austria and the USA.
They found that innovation efforts directed by public institutions, policies, and resources allocated overwhelmingly favour energy supply technologies. But this is at the expense of efficiency in energy end-use where the potential gains are higher.
Dr Wilson said: "About two-thirds of all public innovation efforts are directed toward energy supply technologies. It is vital that innovations in renewable energy supply continue, but the imbalance in spending needs to be redressed urgently to mitigate climate change. Evidence strongly suggests that energy end-use and efficiency currently stand as the most effective ways to mitigate climate change."
The new study assesses energy technology innovation systematically and quantifies the relative emphasis placed on energy supply technologies versus the end-use of energy.
The researchers considered three desirable outcomes of energy innovation - the potential for greenhouse gas emis
|Contact: Lisa Horton|
University of East Anglia