Accelerating the Energy Transition through Innovation

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July 2017
Dolf Gielen, Deger Saygin, Francisco Boshell, Arina Anisie
International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

The world needs a decarbonised energy sector by the second half of the century. In many energy applications, the necessary technologies are available today, so the important next step is the development of enabling policy frameworks in place to scale up their deployment. There are however energy demands in end-use sectors that are responsible for a third of the emissions in the Reference Case in 2050 – the baseline of this study, where several technology options are emerging but are yet to reach their economic and technical viability.

This working paper aims to shed light on the conditions needed to nurture low-carbon technology innovation. By assessing current status and future needs for such technologies, it seeks to identify the elements of a flexible policy framework for innovation, broadly suitable to enable decarbonisation of the energy sector between now and 2050. The envisaged of cultivation of effective, case-specific innovation policies would do much to help countries meet international climate goals, such as those set forth in the 2015 Paris Agreement.


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