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Managing R&D Risk in Renewable Energy

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  • Rausser, Gordon C.
  • Papineau, Maya

Abstract

Federal renewable energy R&D spending is intended, at least in part, to achieve path-breaking commercial breakthroughs in ethanol, hydrogen, solar and wind energy. Recently, the private sector has begun to respond to market opportunities generated by the spike in oil prices and governmental support with significant increases in renewable energy investment. As firms increase their exposure in renewable energy markets, the public sector will be increasingly be pulled in the direction of insuring against the downside risks of clean energy investments. A central question arises in this context: what is the optimal ex-ante allocation of renewable energy R&D investment across the emerging technologies? From the standpoint of societal welfare, the optimal allocation of such support is fundamentally a problem of ex-ante portfolio analysis under risk and uncertainty. This paper presents the components of an ex-ante portfolio analysis of both public and private sector R&D risks in renewable energy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley in its series Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series with number qt41j9f6ks.

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Date of creation: 25 Jun 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:agrebk:qt41j9f6ks

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Keywords: energy; research; development; renewable resources; risk; Social and Behavioral Sciences;

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  1. Pethig, Rudiger, 2006. "Non-linear production, abatement, pollution and materials balance reconsidered," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 185-204, March.
  2. Gordon Rausser, 1999. "Private/Public Research: Knowledge Assets and Future Scenarios," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1011-1027.
  3. Garth Heutel, 2014. "Crowding Out and Crowding In of Private Donations and Government Grants," Public Finance Review, , vol. 42(2), pages 143-175, March.
  4. Rausser, Gordon C. & Goodhue, Rachael E., 2002. "Public policy: Its many analytical dimensions," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 39, pages 2057-2102 Elsevier.
  5. Cropper, Maureen L & Oates, Wallace E, 1992. "Environmental Economics: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 675-740, June.
  6. Rausser, Gordon C. & Small, Arthur A., 2000. "Valuing Research Leads: Bioprospecting and the Conservation of Genetic Resources," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt4t56m5b8, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  7. Davis, Graham A. & Owens, Brandon, 2003. "Optimizing the level of renewable electric R&D expenditures using real options analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(15), pages 1589-1608, December.
  8. Nemet, Gregory F. & Kammen, Daniel M., 2007. "U.S. energy research and development: Declining investment, increasing need, and the feasibility of expansion," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 746-755, January.
  9. Somerville, Chris, 2007. "Development of Cellulosic Biofuels (PowerPoint)," Agricultural Outlook Forum 2007 8105, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Outlook Forum.
  10. A. Payne, 2001. "Measuring the Effect of Federal Research Funding on Private Donations at Research Universities: Is Federal Research Funding More than a Substitute for Private Donations?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 8(5), pages 731-751, November.
  11. 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.
  12. Ethridge, Don, 1973. "The Inclusion of Wastes in the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(6), pages 1430-41, Nov.-Dec..
  13. Papineau, Maya, 2006. "An economic perspective on experience curves and dynamic economies in renewable energy technologies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 422-432, March.
  14. Ayres, Robert U & Kneese, Allen V, 1969. "Production , Consumption, and Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(3), pages 282-97, June.
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