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Uncertainties in Responding to Climate Change: On the Economic Value of Technology Policies for Reducing Costs and Creating Options

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  • Demetrios Papathanasiou and Dennis Anderson

Abstract

The paper presents a simplified model of the form often used to project long-term emissions of carbon dioxide from energy production and use. It then considers three uncertainties in parameters of the model concerning (a) the rate of improvement in energy efficiency, (b) the costs of environmental damage, arid (c) the rate of technical progress in the development and use of technologies for abating CO2 emissions. Monte Carlo analysis is used to estimate the frequency distributions of costs and benefits under different policy assumptions. The results suggest that the possibilities of an economic surprise cannot be ruled out and that 'technology policies' to support the development of non-carbon technologies directly are robust under uncertainty. Such policies can also be defended by reference to their option value, to their environmental benefits, and to the positive externalities of innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Demetrios Papathanasiou and Dennis Anderson, 2001. "Uncertainties in Responding to Climate Change: On the Economic Value of Technology Policies for Reducing Costs and Creating Options," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 79-114.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:2001v22-03-a04
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bob van der Zwaan & Reyer Gerlagh, 2008. "The Economics of Geological CO2 Storage and Leakage," Working Papers 2008.10, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    2. Rosendahl, Knut Einar, 2004. "Cost-effective environmental policy: implications of induced technological change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 1099-1121, November.
    3. repec:taf:rrpaxx:v:9:y:2004:i:2:p:149-162 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Mark K. Jaccard & John Nyboer & Crhis Bataille & Bryn Sadownik, 2003. "Modeling the Cost of Climate Policy: Distinguishing Between Alternative Cost Definitions and Long-Run Cost Dynamics," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 49-73.
    5. Gillingham, Kenneth & Newell, Richard G. & Pizer, William A., 2008. "Modeling endogenous technological change for climate policy analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 2734-2753, November.
    6. Loschel, Andreas, 2002. "Technological change in economic models of environmental policy: a survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2-3), pages 105-126, December.
    7. Foxon, T.J. & Pearson, P.J.G., 2007. "Towards improved policy processes for promoting innovation in renewable electricity technologies in the UK," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 1539-1550, March.
    8. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General

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