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Induced Technological Change: Exploring its Implications for the Economics of Atmospheric Stabilization: Synthesis Report from the Innovation Modeling Comparison Project

Ottmar Edenhofer, Kai Lessmann, Claudia Kemfert, Michael Grubb and Jonathan Kohler 

Year: 2006
Volume: Endogenous Technological Change
Number: Special Issue #1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-VolSI2006-NoSI1-3
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Abstract:
This paper summarizes results from ten global economy-energy-environment models implementing mechanisms of endogenous technological change (ETC). Climate policy goals represented as different CO2 stabilization levels are imposed, and the contribution of induced technological change (ITC) to meeting the goals is assessed. Findings indicate that climate policy induces additional technological change, in some models substantially. Its effect is a reduction of abatement costs in all participating models. The majority of models calculate abatement costs below 1 percent of present value aggregate gross world product for the period 2000-2100. The models predict different dynamics for rising carbon costs, with some showing a decline in carbon costs towards the end of the century. There are a number of reasons for differences in results between models; however four major drivers of differences are identified. First, the extent of the necessary CO2 reduction which depends mainly on predicted baseline emissions, determines how much a model is challenged to comply with climate policy. Second, when climate policy can offset market distortions, some models show that not costs but benefits accrue from climate policy. Third, assumptions about long-term investment behavior, e.g. foresight of actors and number of available investment options, exert a major influence. Finally, whether and how options for carbon-free energy are implemented (backstop and end-of-the-pipe technologies) strongly affects both the mitigation strategy and the abatement costs.



Induced Technological Change in a Limited Foresight Optimization Model

Fredrik Hedenus, Christian Azar and Kristian Lindgren

Year: 2006
Volume: Endogenous Technological Change
Number: Special Issue #1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-VolSI2006-NoSI1-4
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Abstract:
The threat of global warming calls for a major transformation of the energy system in the coming century. The treatment of technological change in energy system models is a critical challenge. Technological change may be treated as induced by climate policy or as exogenous. We investigate the importance of induced technological change (ITC) in GET-LFL, an iterative optimization model with Limited Foresight that incorporates Learning-by-doing. Scenarios for stabilization of atmospheric CO2 concentrations at 400, 450, 500 and 550 ppm are studied. We find that the introduction of ITC reduces the total net present value of the abatement cost over this century by 3-9% compared to a case where technological learning is exogenous. Technology specific policies which force the introduction of fuel cell cars and solar PV in combination with ITC reduce the costs further by 4-7% and lead to significantly different technological solutions, primarily in the transport sector.



ITC in a Global Growth-Climate Model with CCS: The Value of Induced Technical Change for Climate Stabilization

Reyer Gerlagh

Year: 2006
Volume: Endogenous Technological Change
Number: Special Issue #1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-VolSI2006-NoSI1-11
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Abstract:
We assess the effect of ITC in a global growth model, � DEMETER-1CCS � with learning-by-doing, where energy savings, energy transition and carbon capturing and sequestration (CCS) are the three main options for emissions reductions. The model accounts for technological change based on learning by doing, embodied in capital installed in previous periods. We run five scenarios: one baseline scenario with no climate change policy and four stabilization scenarios in which atmospheric CO2 concentrations are stabilized at 550, 500, 450, and 400 ppmv. We find that the timing of emissions reductions and the investment strategy is relatively independent of the endogeneity of technological change. More important is the vintages� structure of production. ITC does reduce costs by approximately a factor of 2, however, these benefits only materialize after some decades.



Learning-by-Doing and the Optimal Solar Policy in California

Arthur van Benthem, Kenneth Gillingham and James Sweeney

Year: 2008
Volume: Volume 29
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol29-No3-7
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Abstract:
Much policy attention has been given to promote fledgling energy technologies that promise to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. These policies often aim to correct market failures, such as environmental externalities and learning�by-doing (LBD). We examine the implications of the assumption that LBD exists, quantifying the market failure due to LBD. We develop a model of technological advancement based on LBD and environmental market failures to examine the economically efficient level of subsidies in California�s solar photovoltaic market. Under central-case parameter estimates, including nonappropriable LBD, we find that maximizing net social benefits implies a solar subsidy schedule similar in magnitude to the recently implemented California Solar Initiative. This result holds for a wide range of LBD parameters. However, with no LBD, the subsidies cannot be justified by the environmental externality alone.





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