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Uncertainties in Responding to Climate Change: On the Economic Value of Technology Policies for Reducing Costs and Creating Options

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  • Demetrios Papathanasiou and Dennis Anderson
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    Abstract

    The paper presents a simplified model of the form often used to project long-term emissions of carbon dioxide from energy production and use. It then considers three uncertainties in parameters of the model concerning (a) the rate of improvement in energy efficiency, (b) the costs of environmental damage, arid (c) the rate of technical progress in the development and use of technologies for abating CO2 emissions. Monte Carlo analysis is used to estimate the frequency distributions of costs and benefits under different policy assumptions. The results suggest that the possibilities of an economic surprise cannot be ruled out and that 'technology policies' to support the development of non-carbon technologies directly are robust under uncertainty. Such policies can also be defended by reference to their option value, to their environmental benefits, and to the positive externalities of innovation.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by International Association for Energy Economics in its journal The Energy Journal.

    Volume (Year): Volume22 (2001)
    Issue (Month): Number 3 ()
    Pages: 79-114

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    Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:2001v22-03-a04

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    Cited by:
    1. Löschel, Andreas, 2001. "Technological change in economic models of environmental policy: a survey," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-62, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Foxon, T.J. & Pearson, P.J.G., 2007. "Towards improved policy processes for promoting innovation in renewable electricity technologies in the UK," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 1539-1550, March.
    3. Mark K. Jaccard & John Nyboer & Crhis Bataille & Bryn Sadownik, 2003. "Modeling the Cost of Climate Policy: Distinguishing Between Alternative Cost Definitions and Long-Run Cost Dynamics," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 49-73.
    4. Bob van der Zwaan & Reyer Gerlagh, 2008. "The Economics of Geological CO2 Storage and Leakage," Working Papers 2008.10, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    5. Rosendahl, Knut Einar, 2004. "Cost-effective environmental policy: implications of induced technological change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 1099-1121, November.
    6. Gillingham, Kenneth T. & Newell, Richard G. & Pizer, William A., 2007. "Modeling Endogenous Technological Change for Climate Policy Analysis," Discussion Papers dp-07-14, Resources For the Future.

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