The UK has been ranked in the top 10 of the Global Energy Innovation Index, coming 9th out of 23 nations.
The index – published at the end of August by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation thinktank (ITIF) – found that the UK had increased its clean energy RD&D budget at a rate faster than any other country, consistent with the Industrial Strategy, which had sought to increase total combined public and private R&D by 2.4% of GDP. The UK was also found to perform strongly on fuel taxes and international collaboration – ranking as a world leader for the former.
Its public investment in basic energy science, however, was found to be low at just $0.002 per $1,000, while the UK also scored poorly for scale-up – relating to later stage demonstration and commercialisation – driven by poor performance on clean patents as well as CCS and advanced nuclear spend. However, this was noted to be a “major weakness” across the global energy innovation system as a whole.
Overall, ITIF said that all countries in the index can and should increase contributions to energy innovation “substantially”. It warned that without more and faster clean energy innovation, it will become “virtually impossible” to meet global climate emission goals.