Expert Judgments about RD&D and the Future of Nuclear Energy

Probabilistic estimates of the cost and performance of future nuclear energy systems under different scenarios of government research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) spending were obtained from 30 U.S. and 30 European nuclear technology experts. We used a novel elicitation approach which combined individual and group elicitation. With no change from current RD&D funding levels, experts […]

Ambiguous Aggregation of Expert Opinions: The Case of Optimal R&D Investment

How should a decision-maker allocate R&D funds when a group of experts provides divergent estimates on a technology’s potential effectiveness? To address this question, we propose a simple decision-theoretic framework that takes into account ambiguity over the aggregation of expert opinion and a decision-maker’s attitude towards it. In line with the paper’s focus on R&D […]

Beyond GDP: Modelling Labour Supply as a ‘Free Time’ Trade-off in a Multiregional Optimal Growth Model

In this paper we develop the standard utility function of a Ramsey-type optimal growth model to account for a ‘market-time’ vs. ‘free-time’ trade-off. To do so, we introduce a free-time preference coefficient that measures the utility gained by deviating from a maximum labour supply defined as the combination of a 95% labour force participation rate […]

Migration, Cultural Diversity and Innovation: A European Perspective

This paper analyses the effect of skilled migration on two measures of innovation, patenting and citations of scientific publications, in a panel of 20 European countries. Skilled migrants positively contribute to the knowledge formation in host countries as they add to the pool of skills in destination markets. Moreover, they positively affect natives’ productivity, as […]

Timing of Mitigation and Technology Availability in Achieving a Low-Carbon World

This paper analyzes the economic and investment implications of a series of climate mitigation scenarios, characterized by different levels of ambition for long-term stabilization goals and transitional pathways. Results indicate that although milder climate objectives can be achieved at moderate costs, stringent stabilization paths, compatible with the 2°C target, might require significant economic resources. Innovation […]

Innovation for the sustainable energy

Sustainable Cooperation in Global Climate Policy: Specific Formulas and Emission Targets to Build on Copenhagen and Cancun

We offer a framework to assign quantitative allocations of emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), across countries, one budget period at a time. Under the two-part plan: (i) China, India, and other developing countries accept targets at Business as Usual (BAU) in the coming budget period, the same period in which the US first agrees to […]

Emissions Pricing to Stabilize Global Climate

In the absence of significant greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation, many analysts project that atmospheric concentrations of species identified for control in the Kyoto protocol could exceed 1000 ppm (carbon-dioxide-equivalent) by 2100 from the current levels of about 435 ppm. This could lead to global average temperature increases of between 2.5 and 6°C by the end […]

A Good Opening: The Key to Make the Most of Unilateral Climate Action

In this paper we argue that when a subgroup of countries cooperate on emission reduction, the optimal response of non-signatory countries reflects the interaction between three potentially opposing factors, the incentive to free-ride on the benefits of cooperation, the incentive to expand the demand of fossil fuels, and the incentive to adopt cleaner technologies introduced […]

The Future Prospect of PV and CSP Solar Technologies: An Expert Elicitation Survey

In this paper we present and discuss the results of an expert elicitation survey on solar technologies. Sixteen leading European experts from the academic world, the private sector and international institutions took part in this expert elicitation survey on Photovoltaic (PV) and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technologies. The survey collected probabilistic information on (1) how […]

Incentives and Stability of International Climate Coalitions: an Integrated Assessment

This paper analyses the incentives to participate in and the stability of international climate coalitions. Using the integrated assessment model WITCH, the analysis of coalitions’ profitability and stability is performed under alternative assumptions concerning the pure rate of time preference, the social welfare aggregator and the extent of climate damages. We focus on the profitability, […]

Icarus, moving forward

This newsletter marks half the lifetime of the ICARUS Project. This newsletter marks half the lifetime of the ICARUS Project. In the past months we reached some important milestones with respect to data collection and analysis, expert elicitation, and modelling innovation and technology transfer. With respect to data collection and analysis, we made a significant […]

Understanding technology diffusion: a key to sound policy making

Understanding the mechanism of technology diffusion, for its important repercussions on development, is a tremendously important task. In particular, the transfer of new, more efficient and less polluting ways of producing energy is beneficial in many ways: it can reduce energy poverty, alleviate local pollution and lower the cost of transitioning towards a low-carbon society. […]

Report: RD&D to Enhance the Role of Nuclear Energy in Meeting Climate and Energy Challenges

The future role of nuclear energy is a key factor in determining a long-term energy strategy to cope with the challenges ahead: quenching the energy thirst of a growing planet; providing universal access to modern sources of energy; assuring energy security and availability at reasonable costs; facing the threat of climate change, which calls for […]

Innovations in the fight against climate change

Alternative Paths toward a Low Carbon World

This paper analyzes the economic and investment implications of a series of climate mitigation scenarios, characterized by different levels of ambition in terms of long term stabilization goals and the transition to attain them. In particular, the implications of fairly ambitious scenarios are investigated for the first time by means of the model WITCH. Although […]

ICARUS, the journey begins

The challenge for clean, secure energy with lower emissions will be won through innovation.  But, contrary to popular belief, innovation is not the stroke of genius of a solitary inventor, and the best research is not necessarily carried out by brilliant minds segregated in a laboratory.  The idea of a thoughtful Thomas Edison who imagines […]