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Submitted by Clear Sight on
I was stunned by the comparison in investment levels. It seems that public and private investment in energy R&D correlate fairly closely to energy prices. The higher the price, the higher the apparent level of R&D. No surprises there. I came up with an idea (which may or may not be original) related to the commentary above on the impact of innovation culture on R&D outcomes. I discussed it first in my personal blog http://climatecommercial.wordpress.com/2009/10/22/will-chinas-fuel-subsidies-save-the-world-from-climate-change/ and would be interested in commentary. If R&D investment, and usefulness of outcomes, is linked to energy prices, and successful commercialisation on innovation then, globally speaking, high energy prices in innovative countries should generate a higher return (energy innovation outcomes) than high energy prices in lower-ranking innovation countries. Also seems straight-forward. Ergo, is the G20 asking china and india to remove fuel subsidies an appropriate course of action if medium-term low-emissions outcomes are the goal? By removing the subsidies in e.g. China and India, which do not come in the top 20 of innovative countries, prices will rise there but will decrease globally. - perhaps substantially if the consumption decline is enough. By prompting a relative decline in energy prices in innovative countries (OECD), R&D will decrease there accordingly, as will R&D outcomes. (admittedly the short-term global energy emissions may decline, which is the 'normal' perspective). I think to work out the effect of removal of subsidies, one would have to understand what the level of impact on global energy prices might be, and the responsiveness of R&D investment to price change. (Understanding R&D inputs to outcomes better would also be good!). grateful for thoughts etc.