Energy development improves quality of life for humans, but also incurs environmental consequences. A global energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy may mitigate climate change but may also undermine the capacity to achieve some or all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In this study, we use an innovation systems approach to construct a comprehensive roadmap for solar and wind energy to anticipate and improve impacts of a transition to a low carbon future in a manner ensuring climate goals and SDGs are mutually reinforcing. Our multidisciplinary approach began with an assessment of public investments in renewable energy followed by a 2-day research prioritization workshop. Fifty-eight expert workshop participants identified six research themes that proactively address the environmental sustainability of renewable energy. Next, we identified linkages between the six research themes and all 17 SDGs. Finally, we conducted a scientiometric analysis to analyze the research maturity of these themes.
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