DG Research: Export as a measure of innovation performance in the clean energy sector

This report was produced as part of a project designed to support the development of the Clean Energy Innovation Index (CEII).

CEII is a composite indicator aimed at tracking the clean energy innovation performance of EU Member States and Mission Innovation member countries. It does this by analysing output-related indicators, consisting of three core dimensions: (each measured)

  1. scientific publications
  2. patents
  3. trade

Cambridge Econometrics focused on the international trade aspects of the project, analysing export-related indicators as a measure of innovation performance, market uptake of clean energy technologies (CET) and the development of the CET sectors in a country.

The CEII was initially developed as part of the first interim data and report series published in 2021, which included data for the Trade dimension of the CEII up to 2018.

A second report was published as an update to the first report. This report includes data for the Trade dimension of the CEII up to and including 2019, with minor methodological changes compared to the first year of data analysis.

The report provides details on:

  1. The trade dataset used for inclusion in composite indicator calculations
  2. Insights on clean energy innovation performance from the perspective of export-related data and trade flows

Key findings

  • The most suitable indicator identified for inclusion in the composite indicator was the CET export value added indicator (measuring domestic value-added content of energy technology-related product exports as a share of national GDP), which provides insights on what are the most specialised countries in terms of domestic value added to exports.
  • Based on the 2019 data, Denmark has the highest domestic value added of CET exports expressed in proportion of its GDP (1.2%), closely followed by Slovenia and Slovakia.
  • The performance of these countries is primarily driven by exports related to SET Plan Key Action ‘Performant renewable technologies’, and specifically to wind and solar energy technologies.
  • A general observation is that EU countries (e.g., Nordic and CEE countries such as Denmark, Slovenia, Slovakia and Czechia) outperform most of non-EU world players in the indicators assessed however, the EU-27 average values for the same indicators are stagnating or are even decreasing over the reference period.
  • This indicates that the competitiveness of the EU has not improved, vis-á-vis global key players during the observed period.

Links to the final reports:

Export as a measure of innovation performance in the clean energy sector report

Assessment of indicators : provision of technical assistance and study to support the development of a composite indicator to track clean-energy innovation performance of EU members.

Patents as a measure of innovation performance

Selection and assessment of patent indicators : provision of technical assistance and study to support the development of a composite indicator to track clean-energy innovation performance of EU members.

Trade as a measure of innovation performance report

Selection and assessment of trade indicators : provision of technical assistance and study to support the development of a composite indicator to track clean-energy innovation performance of EU members.

Boglárka Molnár Senior Economist [email protected]