Proposal for an International Science Panel on Renewable Energies

Introduction

There is a broad, growing consensus that modern renewable energy technologies must become a
major part of the world’s energy supply mix in the coming decades, in order to transform the energy systems
in both industrialized and developing countries towards more sustainable pathways. Ongoing technological
innovation resulting from basic R&D efforts will be an essential element in this process. Assuring that the
needed innovations occur as swiftly and cost-effectively as possible will require mechanisms for objective
scientific and technical guidance, and for greater interaction among national- and sectoral- based energy
R&D activities. The efforts proposed herein, for establishing an International Science Panel on Renewable
Energies (ISPRE), are designed to meet this pressing need, as was called for in the International Action
Programme of the Renewables 2004 conference in Bonn.
The mission of ISPRE is to provide strategic guidance for renewable energy R&D efforts worldwide,
in order to improve the effectiveness and coherence of R&D efforts being implemented at national, regional,
and international levels. The Panel’s tasks will include compiling information about the current state of
R&D efforts, identifying critical gaps in existing efforts, and recommending future R&D priorities and
strategies. In order to assure that ISPRE assessments are responding to the information needs of a clearlydefined
and relevant audience, efforts will be made to have ISPRE linked directly with REN21 (the
Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century). The International Council for Science (ICSU),
working together with partner organizations as appropriate, will serve as a sponsor of ISPRE, to help ensure
balance and scientific rigor in the Panel’s efforts.

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