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Uncertain R&D, Backstop Technology and GHGs Stabilization

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  • Valentina Bosetti

    (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei)

  • Massimo Tavoni

    (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei)

Abstract

This paper analyses optimal investments in innovation when dealing with a stringent climate target and with the uncertain effectiveness of R&D. The innovation needed to achieve the deep cut in emissions is modelled by a backstop carbon-free technology whose cost depends on R&D investments. To better represent the process of technological progress, we assume that R&D effectiveness is uncertain. By means of a simple analytical model, we show how accounting for the uncertainty that characterizes technological advancement yields higher investments in innovation and lower policy costs. We then confirm the results via a numerical analysis performed with a stochastic version of WITCH, an energy-economy-climate model. The results stress the importance of a correct specification of the technological change process in economy-climate models.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2007.6.

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Date of creation: Jan 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2007.6

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Keywords: Climate Change; Information and Uncertainty; Environmental Policy; Optimal R&D Investments;

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References

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  1. Buonanno, Paolo & Carraro, Carlo & Galeotti, Marzio, 2003. "Endogenous induced technical change and the costs of Kyoto," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-34, February.
  2. Valentina Bosetti & Carlo Carraro & Marzio Galeotti & Emanuele Massetti & Massimo Tavoni, 2006. "WITCH. A World Induced Technical Change Hybrid Model," Working Papers 2006_46, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  3. Baker, Erin & Clarke, Leon & Shittu, Ekundayo, 2008. "Technical change and the marginal cost of abatement," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 2799-2816, November.
  4. Baker, Erin & Adu-Bonnah, Kwame, 2008. "Investment in risky R&D programs in the face of climate uncertainty," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 465-486, March.
  5. Popp, David, 2004. "ENTICE: endogenous technological change in the DICE model of global warming," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 742-768, July.
  6. Michael Grubb, Carlo Carraro and John Schellnhuber, 2006. "Technological Change for Atmospheric Stabilization: Introductory Overview to the Innovation Modeling Comparison Project," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I), pages 1-16.
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