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The case for a new energy research, development and promotion policy for the UK

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  • Jamasb, Tooraj
  • Nuttall, William J.
  • Pollitt, Michael

Abstract

This paper is a critical assessment of the current balance of efforts towards energy research and development (R&D) and the promotion of low-carbon electricity technologies in the UK. We review the UK's main technological options and their estimated cost ranges in the medium term. We contrast the energy R&D spending with the current and expected future cost of renewable promotion policies and point out the high cost of carbon saving through existing renewable promotion arrangements. We also note that liberalisation of the electricity sector has had significant implications for the landscape of energy R&D in the UK. We argue that there is a need for reappraisal of the soundness and balance of the energy R&D and renewable capacity deployment efforts towards new energy technologies. We suggest that the cost-effectiveness of UK deployment policies needs to be more closely analysed as associated costs are non-trivial and expected to rise. We also make a case for considering increasing the current low level of energy R&D expenditure. Much of energy R&D is a public good and we should consider whether the current organisation of R&D effort is fit for purpose. We argue that it is important to build and maintain the research capability in the UK in order to absorb spillovers of technological progress elsewhere in the world. Against this background, the recent signs that an energy R&D renaissance could be underway are therefore positive and welcome.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
Issue (Month): 12 (December)
Pages: 4610-4614

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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:36:y:2008:i:12:p:4610-4614

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

Related research

Keywords: Energy R&D Technology policy;

References

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  1. Henderson, P D, 1977. "Two British Errors: Their Probable Size and Some Possible Lessons," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(2), pages 159-205, July.
  2. Sagar, Ambuj D. & van der Zwaan, Bob, 2006. "Technological innovation in the energy sector: R&D, deployment, and learning-by-doing," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(17), pages 2601-2608, November.
  3. Tooraj Jamasb, 2007. "Technical Change Theory and Learning Curves: Patterns of Progress in Electricity Generation Technologies," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 51-72.
  4. Roques, F.A. & Nuttall, W.J. & Newbery, D.M., 2006. "Using Probabilistic Analysis to Value Power Generation Investments Under Uncertainty," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0650, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  5. Green, Richard, 1995. "The Cost of Nuclear Power Compared with Alternatives to the Magnox Programme," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(3), pages 513-24, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Erdogdu, Erkan, 2013. "Implications of liberalization policies on government support to R&D: Lessons from electricity markets," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 110-118.
  2. Jamasb, T. & Pollitt, M.G., 2009. "Electricity Sector Liberalisation and Innovation: An Analysis of the UK Patenting Activities," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0902, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  3. Sirin, Selahattin Murat, 2010. "An assessment of Turkey's nuclear energy policy in light of South Korea's nuclear experience," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 6145-6152, October.
  4. Martínez Ceseña, E.A. & Mutale, J. & Rivas-Dávalos, F., 2013. "Real options theory applied to electricity generation projects: A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 573-581.
  5. Martínez-Ceseña, E.A. & Mutale, J., 2011. "Application of an advanced real options approach for renewable energy generation projects planning," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 2087-2094, May.

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