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The data discussed below have been sourced from the International Energy Agency’s Energy R&D Statistics Database. R&D budgets for the period 1974-2005 are available for 19 EU countries: Austria, Belgium, CzechRepublic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Figure 7.4 illustrates the evolution of total funding for wind R&D during the period 1974-2006 (excluding EC funding). The total available budget peaked in 1985, with a significant budget available in the Netherlands, accounting for 46% of the total.
The total available budget in 2003 was 48% of this peak, and decreased to 37% in 2004. For 2004, however, data from the Netherlandsare not available. In 2005, a significant budget increase can be noticed, with the R&D budget in the UKincreasing by a factor of 10. In 2006, the total available budget for wind R&D was 41% of the 1985 maximum – and 60% of TPWind’s requirements.
For the period 1998-2006, these budget variations are highlighted in Figure 7.5 for the 6 main contributing countries. Germanywas the main contributor to R&D funding for wind energy, which is consistent with its world-leading position in installed wind power capacity and world manufacturing capacity. After a decrease in funding by 1/3 in 2004, Germanymade a significant effort in 2005 and 2006. For 2005, the budget contribution of the UK, however, far exceeded any other contribution.
These strong budget variations prevent the sector from relying on the research support scheme. Ambitious long-term research programmes, involving heavy research facilities, are risky.
Additionally, Figure 7.6 shows the average R&D budget for the period 1998-2006 for countries with a significant budget (7 countries above EUR 1 Million on average). Only 6 of these countries have an average budget that exceeded EUR 3 Million/year; and only these 6 main contributors were able to set up research laboratories and test facilities that were recognised worlwide, and/or world-leading turbine or component manufacturers. These figures clearly demonstrate that a high-quality research structure is built on long-term, high-level R&D budgets.
Figure 7.4 State R&D funding for wind energy. For some dates, data are not available for certain countries (in M€, 2006). Source: EWEA
Figure 7.5 Wind R&D budget evolution for countries with average budget above EUR 3 Million/y (period 1998-2006, in M€, 2006). Source: EWEA
Figure 7.6 Average funding 1998-2006 for countries with an average budget above EUR 1 Million/year (in M€ 2006). Source: EWEA
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