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Explaining experience curves for new energy technologies: A case study of liquefied natural gas

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  • Greaker, Mads
  • Lund Sagen, Eirik

Abstract

Many new energy technologies seem to experience a fall in unit price as they mature. In this paper we study the unit price of liquefying natural gas in order to make it transportable by ship to gas power installations all over the world. Our point of departure is the experience curve approach, however unlike many other studies of new energy technologies, we also seek to account for autonomous technological change, scale effects and the effects of upstream competition among technology suppliers. To our surprise we find that upstream competition is by far the most important factor contributing to the fall in unit price. With respect to the natural gas business, this may have implications for the future development in prices as the effect of increased upstream competition is temporary and likely to weaken a lot sooner than effects from learning and technological change. Another more general policy implication, is that while promoting new energy technologies, governments must not forget to pay attention to competition policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Economics.

Volume (Year): 30 (2008)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 2899-2911

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:30:y:2008:i:6:p:2899-2911

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eneco

Related research

Keywords: Learning curves Mark-up pricing LNG costs;

References

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  1. A. M. Spence, 1981. "The Learning Curve and Competition," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(1), pages 49-70, Spring.
  2. Ibenholt, Karin, 2002. "Explaining learning curves for wind power," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(13), pages 1181-1189, October.
  3. Isoard, Stephane & Soria, Antonio, 2001. "Technical change dynamics: evidence from the emerging renewable energy technologies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 619-636, November.
  4. Clarke, Leon & Weyant, John & Birky, Alicia, 2006. "On the sources of technological change: Assessing the evidence," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(5-6), pages 579-595, November.
  5. Neij, Lena, 1997. "Use of experience curves to analyse the prospects for diffusion and adoption of renewable energy technology," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(13), pages 1099-1107, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Rai, Varun & Victor, David G. & Thurber, Mark C., 2010. "Carbon capture and storage at scale: Lessons from the growth of analogous energy technologies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 4089-4098, August.
  2. Massol, Olivier & Tchung-Ming, St├ęphane, 2010. "Cooperation among liquefied natural gas suppliers: Is rationalization the sole objective?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 933-947, July.
  3. John Foster & Liam Wagner & Phil Wild & Junhua Zhao & Lucas Skoofa & Craig Froome, 2011. "Market and Economic Modelling of the Intelligent Grid: End of Year Report 2009," Energy Economics and Management Group Working Papers 09, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.

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