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The Energy Efficiency Research

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03 December 2012

The research by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia published in Nature Climate Change discovered that double the amount of effort is put into the development of new energy sources, such as new power stations, than on energy efficiency.

Dr Charlie Wilson of the Tyndale Centre, led the research team of Austrian and US scientists, revealed that public institutions leading energy innovation, policies and resources are overwhelmingly biased towards energy generating technologies at the expense of energy efficiency technologies which have far greater potential gains with substantial reductions to emissions.

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 International Energy Agency reports that total public sector research and development spending on energy end-use and efficiency innovation from 1974–2008 was about $38 billion. Compare this to the $41 billion spent just on nuclear fusion, a highly uncertain energy supply.

Added to the investment in this sort of energy generating research and innovation there are also fossil fuel subsidies of an estimated $500 billion, crushing the investments into non-fossil fuel energy research and innovations of about $160 billion.

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