Low-Carbon R&D Can Boost EU Growth and Competitiveness

Research and Innovation (R&I) are a key part of the EU strategy towards stronger growth and the creation of more and better jobs while respecting social and climate objectives. In the last decades, improvements in costs and performance of low-carbon technologies triggered by R&I expenditures and learning-by-doing effects have increased their competitiveness compared to fossil fuel options. So, in the context of ambitious climate policies as described in the EU Green Deal, increased R&I expenditures can increase productivity and boost EU economic growth and competitiveness, especially in countries with large innovation and low-carbon manufacturing base. The analysis captures the different nature of public and private R&I, with the latter having more positive economic implications and higher efficiency as it is closer to industrial activities. Public R&D commonly focuses on immature highly uncertain technologies, which are also needed to achieve the climate neutrality target of the EU. The model-based assessment shows that a policy portfolio using part of carbon revenues for public and private R&D and development of the required skills can effectively alleviate decarbonisation costs, while promoting high value-added products and exports (e.g., low-carbon technologies), creating more high-quality jobs and contributing to climate change mitigation.

Written by Kostas Fragkiadakis, Panagiotis Fragkos and Leonidas Paroussos.

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