Effects of technological learning and uranium price on nuclear cost: Preliminary insights from a multiple factors learning curve and uranium market modeling
This paper studies the effects of returns to scale, technological learning, i.e. learning-by-doing and learning-by-searching, and uranium price on the prospects of nuclear cost decrease. We use an extended learning curve specification, named multiple factors learning curve (MFLC). In a first stage, we estimate a single MFLC. In a second stage, we estimate the MFLC under the framework of simultaneous system of equations which takes into account the uranium supply and demand. This permits not only to enhance the reliability of the estimation by incorporating the uranium price formation mechanisms in the MFLC via the price variable, but also to give preliminary insights about uranium supply and demand behaviors and the associated effects on the nuclear expansion. Results point out that the nuclear cost has important prospects for decrease via capacity expansion, i.e. learning-by-doing effects. In contrast, they show that the learning-by-searching as well as the scale effects have a limited effect on the cost decrease prospects. Conversely, results also show that uranium price exerts a positive and significant effect on nuclear cost, implying that when the uranium price increases, the nuclear power generation cost decreases. Since uranium is characterized by important physical availability, and since it represents only a minor part in the total nuclear cost, we consider that in a context of increasing demand for nuclear energy the latter result can be explained by the fact that the positive learning effects on the cost of nuclear act in a way to dissipate the negative ones that an increase in uranium price may exert. Further, results give evidence of important inertia in the supply and demand sides as well as evidence of slow correlation between the uranium market and oil market which may limit the inter-fuels substituability effects, that is, nuclear capacity expansion and associated learning-by-doing benefits.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kahouli-Brahmi, Sondes, 2009. "Testing for the presence of some features of increasing returns to adoption factors in energy system dynamics: An analysis via the learning curve approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 1195-1212, February.
- Kahouli-Brahmi, Sondes, 2008. "Technological learning in energy-environment-economy modelling: A survey," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 138-162, January.
- Andrew C. Harvey, 1990. "The Econometric Analysis of Time Series, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 026208189x, January.
- Barkai, Haim & Levhari, David, 1973. "The Impact of Experience on Kibbutz Farming," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 55(1), pages 56-63, February.
- Ibenholt, Karin, 2002. "Explaining learning curves for wind power," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(13), pages 1181-1189, October.
- Pan, Haoran & Kohler, Jonathan, 2007. "Technological change in energy systems: Learning curves, logistic curves and input-output coefficients," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 749-758, September.
- McDonald, Alan & Schrattenholzer, Leo, 2001. "Learning rates for energy technologies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 255-261, March.
- Goldemberg, Jose, 1996. "The evolution of ethanol costs in Brazil," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(12), pages 1127-1128, December.
- Toth, Ferenc L. & Rogner, Hans-Holger, 2006. "Oil and nuclear power: Past, present, and future," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-25, January.
- Breusch, T S, 1978. "Testing for Autocorrelation in Dynamic Linear Models," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(31), pages 334-355, December.
- Kobos, Peter H. & Erickson, Jon D. & Drennen, Thomas E., 2006. "Technological learning and renewable energy costs: implications for US renewable energy policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(13), pages 1645-1658, September.
- Mackay, R.M & Probert, S.D, 1998. "Likely market-penetrations of renewable-energy technologies," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 1-38, January.
- Junginger, M. & Faaij, A. & Turkenburg, W. C., 2005. "Global experience curves for wind farms," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 133-150, January.
- Esposto, Stefano, 2008. "The possible role of nuclear energy in Italy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1584-1588, May.
- Neij, L, 1999. "Cost dynamics of wind power," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 375-389.
- Hausman, Jerry, 2015.
"Specification tests in econometrics,"
Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
- Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-1271, November.
- J. A. Hausman, 1976. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Working papers 185, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Godfrey, Leslie G, 1978. "Testing for Higher Order Serial Correlation in Regression Equations When the Regressors Include Lagged Dependent Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1303-1310, November.
- Breusch, T S & Pagan, A R, 1979. "A Simple Test for Heteroscedasticity and Random Coefficient Variation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1287-1294, September.
- 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.
- Isoard, Stephane & Soria, Antonio, 2001. "Technical change dynamics: evidence from the emerging renewable energy technologies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 619-636, November.
- Martin B. Zimmerman, 1982. "Learning Effects and the Commercialization of New Energy Technologies: The Case of Nuclear Power," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 297-310, Autumn.
- Ostwald, Phillip F. & Reisdorf, John B., 1979. "Measurement of technology progress and capital cost for nuclear, coal-fired, and gas-fired power plants using the learning curve," Engineering and Process Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 435-454, December.
- Klaassen, Ger & Miketa, Asami & Larsen, Katarina & Sundqvist, Thomas, 2005. "The impact of R&D on innovation for wind energy in Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2-3), pages 227-240, August.
- Amavilah, Voxi Heinrich S., 1995. "The capitalist world aggregate supply and demand model for natural uranium," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 211-220, July.
- Miketa, Asami & Schrattenholzer, Leo, 2004. "Experiments with a methodology to model the role of R&D expenditures in energy technology learning processes; first results," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(15), pages 1679-1692, October.
- MacKerron, Gordon, 2004. "Nuclear power and the characteristics of `ordinariness'--the case of UK energy policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(17), pages 1957-1965, November.
- Clarke, Leon & Weyant, John & Edmonds, Jae, 2008. "On the sources of technological change: What do the models assume," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 409-424, March.
- Neij, Lena, 1997. "Use of experience curves to analyse the prospects for diffusion and adoption of renewable energy technology," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(13), pages 1099-1107, November.
- Loschel, Andreas, 2002. "Technological change in economic models of environmental policy: a survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2-3), pages 105-126, December.
- Löschel, Andreas, 2001. "Technological change in economic models of environmental policy: a survey," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-62, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
- Söderholm, Patrik & Sundqvist, Thomas, 2007. "Empirical challenges in the use of learning curves for assessing the economic prospects of renewable energy technologies," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 32(15), pages 2559-2578.
- Percebois, Jacques, 2003. "The peaceful uses of nuclear energy: technologies of the front and back-ends of the fuel cycle," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 101-108, January.
- Clarke, Leon & Weyant, John & Birky, Alicia, 2006. "On the sources of technological change: Assessing the evidence," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(5-6), pages 579-595, November. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)