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The IEA supports international energy technology research, development, deployment, and knowledge transfer through multilateral groups (formally called Implementing Agreements). The experts participating in the activities of the Implementing Agreements represent public and private sector entities worldwide. Together, these experts share knowledge – and resources – to advance energy technologies.

Energy Technology Data Exchange

The most popular research topics 2010-2012.

Popular topics, policies and patents

Policy context
Energy planners and policy makers around the world need key research information to inform decision-making. Researchers need access to targeted, international energy research results in order to accelerate deployment of energy technologies. Industries need access to recent laboratory and academic research results, patents and policy briefs in order to keep track of recent trends and calculate risks of investments. The energy-specific research database, ETDEWEB, responds to these needs.

The aim of the Implementing Agreement for the Establishment of the IEA Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDE IA) is to provide governments, industry and the research community with access to the widest range of information on energy research, science and technology. The ETDE IA World Energy Base, or ETDEWEB, is the largest single resource for energy-related scientific, technical and policy information worldwide. Through the ETDEWEB, the ETDE IA provides free access to more than 90 Partner countries. There are 13 Contracting Parties, including Brazil, Mexico and South Africa.

The ETDEWEB is comprised of energy research results of the ETDE IA members, and many other relevant sources. It is designed for researchers eager to receive precise information in the shortest amount of time.

ETDEWEB includes over 4.8 million research literature citations, over 1 million citations with relevant links to other sources, and 472 000 links to full research documents. With over 60 000 searches per month, the ETDEWEB is continually demonstrating relevance in energy research efforts worldwide.

A study carried out in June 2010 demonstrated that, from 15 topics in the study, ETDEWEB provided unique search results not shown by Google or Google Scholar in 86.7% of cases1.

In particular, ETDEWEB search results often include the achievements of many of the IEA Implementing Agreements; the International Energy Agency; the European esp@cenet (patents from Japan, the European Patent Office, and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, and others); as well as major national energy organisations in Denmark, France,and the United States, and in scientific journals worldwide. This demonstrates that the ETDEWEB goes well beyond web-based search engines that quickly provide a multitude of results which then must be sorted and categorised before analysis.

The information in the ETDEWEB is useful for research and development priority-setting, investment firms and manufacturers. In addition to linking to patents through the federated search, the “popular topics” option highlights the topics most frequently included in ETDEWEB search requests. In July 2012, topics included solar cells with amorphous or titanium materials; zero- and low-energy buildings; and carbon capture and storage, including carbon sequestration.

Though the majority of ETDEWEB records have English abstracts, it is not uncommon that some documents are in the native language. To help users from non-English speaking countries gauge interest, ETDEWEB includes a tool that will translate search results and citations into other languages. Lastly, ETDEWEB recently developed a search app for mobile phones.

1. ETDE-OA--237, ETDEWEB Versus the World-Wide-Web: a Specific Database/Web Comparison

Current projects

ETDEWEB online research database:

  • Expanding coverage
  • Adding search aids
  • Developing a mobile phone application
  • Broadening access to partner countries

For more information:


Implementing Agreement information or material, including Implementing Agreement information or material published on this website, does not necessarily represent the views or policies of the IEA Secretariat or of the IEA’s individual Member countries. The IEA does not make any representation or warranty (express or implied) in respect of any IA Information (including as to its completeness, accuracy or non-infringement) and shall not be held liable for any use of, or reliance on, such IA Information.