Is public energy innovation funding in line with Swedish environmental targets?

Nya Fest Session 2: Sustainability and energy transitions in economic and business history organized by Mattias Näsman and Josef Taalbi


Johanna Fink, Josef Taalbi


The current energy crisis has directed public attention towards energy policy and energy innovation. Despite rising research interest, energy innovation policy evaluation is impeded by the lack of a long-run data set that links energy innovations to public funding data and contains information on the directionality of innovation. This paper will contribute to the debate around energy innovation policy research by presenting a novel long-term data set, linking significant Swedish innovations to public innovation funding between 1970 and 2021. The preliminary results indicate that interest in energy innovations is positively correlated with energy prices. Until the 2000s energy innovations were primarily concerned with improvements in fossil fuel technology rather than the development of renewable energy technologies. Only since the 2000s renewable energy innovation dominated in Sweden. Moreover, Swedish data confirms that public funding is important for the development of energy innovations especially for immature technologies. Energy innovation are 17% more likely to receive public funding compared to innovations from other fields. Furthermore, public institutions financed 15% more renewable energy innovations compared to private actors before the new renewables became competitive with conventional energy sources.


No PDF available.