Researchers and policymakers have been emphasizing on the importance of accelerating clean energy technology diffusion across developing world facing low technology penetration rates and other innovation system barriers. Over the years, development cooperation has pivoted towards recipient country capacity building under broadly defined climate-related aid.

In the energy sector of aid recipient countries, aid projects are influential in financing deployment of low-carbon technologies as well as policy advice and reforms, mobilizing private investments, network strengthening, and rural electrification support. Future projects and programs in this sector need to be cognizant of recipient country expectations.

This study explores the outlook for future projects managing energy transition through targeted interventions. Employing content analysis of Technology Action Plan documents for twenty-five countries, activities under prioritized technologies were matched with indicators corresponding to seven functions of a technological innovation system. Resource mobilization and creation of legitimacy were the functions prioritized by the countries, while the function of entrepreneurial activity received less priority. The innovation system indicators identified in the literature and used in the study are useful measures that can complement design of donor interventions aimed at accelerating adoption & diffusion of energy technologies.

These findings could be used to support further development of Nationally Determined Contributions and accelerated deployment of climate mitigation technologies in national strategies and programs for sustainable development.