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The value of technological advance in decarbonizing the U.S. economy

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  • Richels, Richard G.
  • Blanford, Geoffrey J.
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    Abstract

    This paper examines the role of technology in managing the costs of a carbon constraint on the U.S. economy. Two portfolios of technology are examined. One reflects modest investments in climate-friendly technologies, the other more aggressive development. The analysis indicates that the development of a broad range of low- to zero-carbon emitting technologies can substantially reduce (but not eliminate) the economic cost of decarbonization. By enabling large-scale emission reductions on the supply-side, costly reductions in demand are avoided. In particular, the emergence of electricity as a low-carbon fuel provides a powerful lever for achieving reductions in other sectors of the economy at lower cost. While the analysis suggests that there is no "free lunch," the bill, which may indeed be well worth paying, can be greatly reduced through an accelerated R&D program and successful diffusion of new technology throughout the economy.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Economics.

    Volume (Year): 30 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 6 (November)
    Pages: 2930-2946

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:30:y:2008:i:6:p:2930-2946

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

    Related research

    Keywords: Climate change Technology policy Energy modeling;

    References

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    1. Blanford, Geoffrey & Clarke, Leon & Richels, Richard G. & Rutherford, Thomas, 2007. "Managing the Transition to Climate Stabilization," Working paper 540, Regulation2point0.
    2. Popp, David, 2006. "ENTICE-BR: The effects of backstop technology R&D on climate policy models," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 188-222, March.
    3. Alan Manne & Richard Richels, 1992. "Buying Greenhouse Insurance: The Economic Costs of CO2 Emission Limits," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026213280x, December.
    4. Weyant, John P., 2004. "Introduction and overview," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 501-515, July.
    5. Manne, Alan & Mendelsohn, Robert & Richels, Richard, 1995. "MERGE : A model for evaluating regional and global effects of GHG reduction policies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 17-34, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Emanuele Massetti & Elena Claire Ricci, 2011. "Super-Grids and Concentrated Solar Power: A Scenario Analysis with the WITCH Model," Working Papers 2011.47, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    2. Weyant, John P., 2011. "Accelerating the development and diffusion of new energy technologies: Beyond the "valley of death"," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 674-682, July.
    3. Samuel Fankhauser & Cameron Hepburn & Jisung Park, 2011. "Combining multiple climate policy instruments: how not to do it," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers 38, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    4. L√ľken, Michael & Edenhofer, Ottmar & Knopf, Brigitte & Leimbach, Marian & Luderer, Gunnar & Bauer, Nico, 2011. "The role of technological availability for the distributive impacts of climate change mitigation policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 6030-6039, October.
    5. Enrica De Cian & Fabio Sferra & Massimo Tavoni, 2013. "The Influence of Economic Growth, Population, and Fossil Fuel Scarcity on Energy Investments," Working Papers 2013.59, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    6. Pugh, Graham & Clarke, Leon & Marlay, Robert & Kyle, Page & Wise, Marshall & McJeon, Haewon & Chan, Gabriel, 2011. "Energy R&D portfolio analysis based on climate change mitigation," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 634-643, July.
    7. Valentina Bosetti & Thomas Longden, 2012. "Light Duty Vehicle Transportation and Global Climate Policy: The Importance of Electric Drive Vehicles," Working Papers 2012.11, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    8. Blyth, William & Bunn, Derek & Kettunen, Janne & Wilson, Tom, 2009. "Policy interactions, risk and price formation in carbon markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5192-5207, December.
    9. Hiromi Yamamoto & Masahiro Sugiyama & Junichi Tsutsui, 2014. "Role of end-use technologies in long-term GHG reduction scenarios developed with the BET model," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 583-596, April.
    10. Massimo Tavoni & Enrica Cian & Gunnar Luderer & Jan Steckel & Henri Waisman, 2012. "The value of technology and of its evolution towards a low carbon economy," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 114(1), pages 39-57, September.

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