The Rise and Decline of U.S. Private Sector Investments in Energy R&D since the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973

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This paper presents two distinct datasets that describe investments in energy research and development (R&D) by the US private sector since the mid1970s, which is when the US government began to systematically collect these data. The first dataset is based upon a broad survey of more than 20,000 firms’ industrial R&D activities. This broad survey of US industry is coordinated by the US National Science Foundation. The second dataset discussed here is a much narrower accounting of the energy R&D activities of the approximately two dozen largest US oil and gas companies conducted by the US Department of Energy’s Energy ... continued below

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Dooley, James J. November 1, 2010.

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Description

This paper presents two distinct datasets that describe investments in energy research and development (R&D) by the US private sector since the mid1970s, which is when the US government began to systematically collect these data. The first dataset is based upon a broad survey of more than 20,000 firms’ industrial R&D activities. This broad survey of US industry is coordinated by the US National Science Foundation. The second dataset discussed here is a much narrower accounting of the energy R&D activities of the approximately two dozen largest US oil and gas companies conducted by the US Department of Energy’s Energy Information Agency. Even given the large disparity in the breadth and scope of these two surveys of the private sector’s support for energy R&D, both datasets tell the same story in terms of the broad outlines of the private sector’s investments in energy R&D since the mid 1970s. The broad outlines of the US private sector’s support for energy R&D since the mid 1970s is: (1) In the immediate aftermath of the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973, there is a large surge in US private sector investments in energy R&D that peaked in the period between 1980 and 1982 at approximately $3.7 billion to $6.7 billion per year (in inflation adjusted 2010 US dollars) depending upon which survey is used (2) Private sector investments in energy R&D declined from this peak until bottoming out at approximately $1.8 billion to $1 billion per year in 1999; (3) US private sector support for energy R&D has recovered somewhat over the past decade and stands at $2.2 billion to $3.4 billion. Both data sets indicate that the US private sector’s support for energy R&D has been and remains dominated by fossil energy R&D and in particular R&D related to the needs of the oil and gas industry.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-19958
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/992366 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 992366
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1014188

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • November 1, 2010

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  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

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  • Oct. 25, 2017, 11:57 a.m.

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Dooley, James J. The Rise and Decline of U.S. Private Sector Investments in Energy R&D since the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973, report, November 1, 2010; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1014188/: accessed November 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.