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Extra resources for Confronting climate change : strategies for energy research and development
These concepts are further elaborated in a subsequent discussion of strategy options for energy R&D. ROLE OF R&D What R&D (and initial implementation) can produce is information. Alternative energy R&D would reduce uncertainty about the cost, performance, environmental side effects, and other impacts of technologies designed to reduce energy-related GHG emissions. This investment in knowledge serves two purposes. First, it provides a basis for continually redirecting the R&D program toward alternatives that are potentially less costly.
S. share of global CO2 emissions in 1988 was estimated to be around one-quarter. S. 17–19 The committee appreciates the value in such a role being taken by the United States even as it recognizes that unilateral action taken solely by one country will be much less effective than concerted actions. In the committee's view, developing a strategic vision for the United States in terms of energy R&D and adoption of alternative energy technologies that are low or even nonemitters of GHGs is an important first step.
Cutbacks in company-funded R&D, like those of the federal government, have been unevenly distributed across fields of application. 6 billion in 1979 to $284 million in 1987. Company funds for nuclear energy R&D fell by 66 percent over the same period, from $262 million to $88 million. 5 billion. Thus, in recent years federal and company efforts in conservation and renewables have been of roughly the same scale. Federal resources devoted to nuclear energy have been an order of magnitude larger than company resources, while company spending on fossil fuel technology has been three to five times greater than federal spending.
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