The future costs of nuclear power using multiple expert elicitations: effects of RD&D and elicitation design

Characterization of the anticipated performance of energy technologies to inform policy decisions increasingly relies on expert elicitation. Knowledge about how elicitation design factors impact the probabilistic estimates emerging from these studies is, however, scarce. We focus on nuclear power, a large-scale low-carbon power option, for which future cost estimates are important for the design of […]

Going Electric: Expert Survey on the Future of Battery Technologies for Electric Vehicles

The paper describes the results of a survey, carried out with leading EU experts, on the capacity of both fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to reach commercial success in the next twenty years. The success of electric transport is hampered by a combination of low range, scarce efficiency and high costs of batteries. Costs […]

Clean and Dirty International Technology Diffusion

This paper investigates the role of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection and Environmental Policies (EPs) on clean (renewable) and dirty (fossil-based) technology diffusion from top-innovators. IPR protection and EPs are extensively debated policy tools, as IPR protection addresses knowledge market failure, while EPs respond to pressing local and global environmental externalities. A model of monopolistic […]

Energy Intensity Developments in 40 Major Economies: Structural Change or Technology Improvement?

This study analyzes energy intensity trends and drivers in 40 major economies using the WIOD database, a novel harmonized and consistent dataset of input-output table time series accompanied by environmental satellite data. We use logarithmic mean Divisia index decomposition to (1) study trends in global energy intensity between 1995 and 2007, (2) attribute efficiency changes […]

Light duty vehicle transportation and global climate policy: the importance of electric drive vehicles

With a focus on establishing whether climate targets can be met under different personal transport scenarios we introduce a transport sector representing the use and profile of light domestic vehicles (LDVs) into the integrated assessment model WITCH. In doing so we develop long term projections of light domestic vehicle use and define potential synergies between […]

The Rebound Effect: Implications of Consumer Behaviour for Robust Energy Policies

In 2011 Elena Verdolini participated in an expert workshops on the subject of “Energy Efficiency Policies and the Rebound Effect”, in Washington DC,  organised by The Climate and Energy Decision Making Center at Carnegie Mellon University (USA). The concluding report published by the International Risk Governance Council : ‘The Rebound Effect: Implications of Consumer Behaviour […]

Future prospects of carbon capture technologies: an expert elicitation

This paper presents and discusses the results of an expert elicitation survey on the future prospects of carbon capture technologies. The survey collected probabilistic information of the future values of energy penalty and investment costs for a broad range of carbon capture options under three different scenarios of R&D investments and climate policies. Eleven leading […]

The Power of Biomass: Experts Disclose the Potential for Success of Bioenergy Technologies

This paper focuses on technologies which use thermo-chemical or biochemical processes to convert biomass into electricity. We present the results from an expert elicitation exercise involving sixteen leading experts coming from different EU Member States. Aim of the elicitation was to assess the potential cost reduction of RD&D (Research, Development and Demonstration) efforts and to […]

Advanced biofuels: Future perspectives from an expert elicitation survey

This paper illustrates the main results of an expert elicitation survey on advanced (second and third generation) biofuel technologies. The survey focuses on eliciting probabilistic information on the future costs of advanced biofuels and on the potential role of Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) efforts in reducing these costs and in supporting the deployment of […]

Private and Public: An overview of RD&D investments in the Power Sector

In this paper we make an explicit effort to collect, harmonize and describe data on power-related R&D from both the public and the private sector for a sample of 16 countries over the years 1995-2007. We focus on the upstream energy sector (power) due to both its’ relevance for energy security concerns and future climate […]

Heterogeneous Firms Trading In Ideas: An Application to Energy Technologies

Notwithstanding the central role attributed to technology transfer (TT) and the effort to promote it through the creation of permanent international bodies such as the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice of the UNFCCC, very little is known about the determinants of this process with respect to energy technologies. This paper marries the literature on international trade […]

Deviations in Kilometres Travelled: The Impact of Different Mobility Futures on Energy Use and Climate Policy

The importance of a focus on mobility and the kilometres travelled using light duty vehicles is reflected in the persistence of strong demand for personal mobility and emissions that tend to be linked with population and economic growth. Simulation results using the WITCH model show that changes in the kilometres driven per year using light […]

Meta-Analysis Of Expert Elicitations Of Future Technology Outcomes For Nuclear Power

Verdolini, E., L.A. Diaz and G. Nemet (2012), “Meta-Analysis Of Expert Elicitations Of Future Technology Outcomes For Nuclear Power”, Mimeo, 12th IAEE European Energy Conference “Energy challenge and environmental sustainability“, September 9-12, 2012, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice.

Energy intensity developments in 40 major economies: Structural change or technology improvement?

This study analyzes energy intensity trends and drivers in 40 major economies using the WIOD database, a novel harmonized and consistent dataset of input–output table time series accompanied by environmental satellite data. We use logarithmic mean Divisia index decomposition to (1) attribute efficiency changes to either changes in technology or changes in the structure of […]

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 […]

Advanced Biofuels: Future Perspectives from an Expert Elicitation Survey

This paper illustrates the main results of an expert elicitation survey on advanced (second and third generation) biofuel technologies. The survey focuses on eliciting probabilistic information on the future costs of advanced biofuels and on the potential role of RD&D (Research, Development and Demonstration) efforts in reducing these costs and in supporting the deployment of […]

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 […]

Report: Policy recommendations for Biofuel technologies

Biofuels are a viable substitution for oil-derived fuels in the transport sector. However, the substitution of fossil fuels with first generation biofuels raises many concerns with regards to their ecological and social sustainability, and to the net savings of greenhouse gases with respect to conventional fossil fuels. To become a real contributor to the 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, […]

The Linkage Between Income Distribution and Clean Energy Investments: Addressing Financing Cost

With a focus on alternative methods for accelerating clean energy policy adoption, this study introduces an innovative financing scheme for renewable and energy efficiency deployment. Financing barriers represent a notable obstacle for energy improvements and this is particularly the case for low-income households. Limited access to credit, due to socio-economic status and the lack of […]

What should we expect from innovation? A model-based assessment of the environmental and mitigation cost implications of climate-related R&D

This paper addresses two basic issues related to technological innovation and climate stabilisation objectives: i) Can innovation policies be effective in stabilising greenhouse gas concentrations? ii) To what extent can innovation policies complement carbon pricing (taxes or permit trading) and improve the economic efficiency of a mitigation policy package? To answer these questions, we use […]

The Role of R&D+i in the Energy Sector

Secure, reliable and affordable energy supplies are fundamental to economic stability and development. The current energy prospects are however unsustainable: concerns about energy security, the threat of disruptive climate changes and the growing energy needs of the developing world pose major challenges to energy decision makers. The aim of this paper is twofold. On one […]

Technological Change, Fuel Efficiency and Carbon Intensity in Electricity Generation: A Cross-Country Empirical Study

This paper provides an empirical analysis of the determinants of energy efficiency in fossil fuel electricity generation across 28 OECD countries over the period 1981-2006, with particular attention to the role played by technological development and the availability of energy efficient technologies in the market. This contribution is novel in three respects: first, empirically assess […]