IEA report backs state efforts on clean energy start-ups


The International Energy Agency has issued a new report that looks at the unique value that governments can bring to clean technology innovations against the backdrop of a global energy crisis. 

A new IEA report on How Governments Support Clean Energy Start-Ups, welcomes the diverse approaches taken in countries around the world to helping new innovations get off the ground.

Green investment is one of the fastest growing financial sectors on Earth right now but there is a crucial role for government in putting the right support in place for innovators to have the impact the world needs them to have. This is especially important now as the world faces an energy crisis and post-Covid economic recovery sees carbon rise back to record levels.

The new report welcomes the success the public sector has helped to generate when supporting start-ups get new clean energy technologies to market. It also notes this has risen sharply since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015.

Drawing on 14 detailed country case studies and 23 in-depth interviews, the new IEA analysis highlights the ways in which governments have stepped in. This includes providing access to patient providers of capital and world-class laboratories, mentoring and peer-to-peer networking, and targeting technologies or groups that can face additional obstacles to break through, including female entrepreneurs.

The examples in the new report come from a wide range of countries, including Chile, India, Morocco, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The report also looks at the impact of economic recovery measures that include green aspects, like the Japan Green Innovation Fund, the US Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.  

Infrastructure represents a major opportunity for green technology and it is vital to ensuring innovation is properly facilitated. From floating solar panels on hydropower lakes, to the addition of microgenerators to water treatment plants, projects around the world are making a difference. But that impact must speed up. 

The IEA has also reported that 2021 saw the fastest ever rise in CO2 emissions in absolute terms. They increased by 6% to 36.3 billion tonnes, largely because of a significant increase in coal-burning for electricity generation.