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03 Mar 2022, 12:46
Edgar Meza

German growth in climate action technology innovation lagging behind competitors – report

Clean Energy Wire

While Germany remains a leading source for environmental technology patents – currently holding a 13 percent global share – its growth rates in the area are clearly lagging behind in an international comparison, according to a new report published by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) that looks at environmental protection as a driver of innovation. The report is part of an effort by the UBA to assess the international performance of Germany’s environmental economy, both in terms of innovative capacity and its economic significance domestically and internationally. Germany remains among the world’s leading environmental technology patent applicants and it boasts distinct specialisation advantages in the field of climate protection technologies. However, it is falling behind other countries when it comes to renewable energy patent applications, lagging behind market leaders China, South Korea and Denmark as well as France, the U.S. and the UK.

While environmental research in Germany remains an above-average priority when compared to the average among EU-15 and OECD countries, it was nevertheless behind that of Spain, Portugal, Greece, Hungary and Poland, which all had higher shares of investment in 2019. Looking at energy research funding, Germany spent an average of 77 percent on future-oriented energy technologies in the 2017-2019 period, considerably more than 2007-2009 (60 percent) and noticeably higher than in the rest of the EU-15, which allocated an average of 64 percent in 2017-2019. Many other European countries spent their energy research budgets almost exclusively on future-oriented energy technology research, however. Spain, Hungary, Sweden, Austria, Estonia and Denmark have shares that range between 96 and 99 percent and thus play pioneering roles worldwide.

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