Summary: Grasp the challenge - Daring to go for energy innovation
Breakthrough innovations are essential to achieve a sustainable energy supply. Therefore, the Dutch government must give greater focus to innovation in its energy policy. In particular, breakthrough innovations should be supported via a mission-oriented approach. This is one of the main recommendations of the Advisory Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (AWTI) in its advisory report ‘Oppakken en doorpakken’ (‘Grasp the challenge - Daring to go for energy innovation’) which was presented to the Minister of Economic Affairs, Mr Kamp, on December 1, 2016.
Uri Rosenthal, President of the Advisory Council, explains that “currently large sums of money are spent in the energy domain that only subsidise the exploitation of current (renewable) technology and do not stimulate innovation. And the limited amount of money that is meant for innovation - only 200 million euros per year - mainly focuses on small, ‘incremental’ steps of innovation. But to achieve a sustainable energy supply in 2050, several breakthrough innovations will be crucial.”
Therefore, the AWTI recommends that greater attention be given to innovation within the context of the Dutch energy policy. “Our national energy policy should stimulate and direct energy innovation,” adds Council Member Tim van der Hagen. “Moreover, the government should raise the budget for energy innovation to 400 or 500 million euros per year. That is more in line with the challenges that lie ahead and what neighbouring countries spend. The budget for energy innovation should foremost be used for ‘radical’ breakthrough innovations via a mission-oriented approach. In our advisory report we sketch how this can be organised and implemented.”