Sharp increase in EU green energy R&D spending

Investment by EU firms on research and development into alternative energies increased by more than 80% in 2008, according to new figures released by the European Commission on Monday.

Five of the six top-spending green energy firms were German, according to the data. The largest single investor was Danish wind energy giant Vestas, which spent over €220m on R&D in 2008.

Overall the EU's research investment increased by 8.1% – outstripping spending growth in the US (5.7%) and Japan (4.4%) for the second consecutive year. But Europe is still lagging behind these countries in terms of total R&D spending, including in the energy field.

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