Innovation policy has traditionally focused on demonstrating the commercial viability of promising new technologies and then allowing them to compete with alternative products in the market. A new approach is required if the EU is to deliver the rates of deployment of zero-carbon technologies that are consistent with international agreements on climate change. This paper explains why EU innovation policy should focus on delivering the best value deployment pathway and that learning how to engage consumers is central to this objective. It recommends that the EU endorses the missions to achieve 100 carbon neutral cities by 2030 as the best way to steer the clean energy innovation agenda.
- The EU should adopt the mission of achieving 100 carbon neutral EU cities by 2030 to help steer work on clean energy innovation and ensure that sufficient funds are set aside under the Horizon Europe programme.
- Implement a programme of large-scale demonstrators of the future energy system as the vehicle for delivering the learning necessary to achieve the mission.
- Ensure an appropriate governance system is in place to deliver the mission. This should specify the learning requirements, support project delivery and process the lessons learnt to inform the next phase of demonstration, wider rollout or recommendations for changes to the regulatory and market framework.
- Research and innovation priorities for Horizon 2020 work in the period 2018 to 2020 should ensure that feasibility studies are prepared for a range of potential demonstration projects.