New research from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at UEA has argued that more needs to be done to develop energy efficient cars, buildings and appliances to combat climate change.

The report published on Friday 2 November in Nature Climate Change shows that double the amount of work is being put into developing energy supply technology than on improving the efficiency of energy use. The research was led by Dr Charlie Wilson with a team of scientists from Austria and the USA and found that innovation, policies, and resources were allocated in favour of new energy supply technologies at the expense of efficiency in energy end-use.

Dr Wilson said: “About two-thirds of all public innovation efforts are directed toward energy supply technologies. It is vital that innovations in renewable energy supply continue, but the imbalance in spending needs to be redressed urgently to mitigate climate change. Evidence strongly suggests that energy end-use and efficiency currently stand as the most effective ways to mitigate climate change.”

The report found that efficiency in energy end-use is more important than in supply technologies, as it engages higher levels of private sector activity, offers higher potential cost reductions and provides higher social returns.