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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jamasb, Tooraj & Nuttall, William J. & Pollitt, Michael, 2008. "The case for a new energy research, development and promotion policy for the UK," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 4610-4614, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:36:y:2008:i:12:p:4610-4614
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    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. 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 513-524, July.
    4. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jamasb, Tooraj & Pollitt, Michael G., 2011. "Electricity sector liberalisation and innovation: An analysis of the UK's patenting activities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 309-324, March.
    2. Laleman, Ruben & Albrecht, Johan, 2014. "Comparing push and pull measures for PV and wind in Europe," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 33-37.
    3. Lee, Sang-Ho & Park, Sanghoon & Kim, Taehyoung, 2015. "Review on investment direction of green technology R&D in Korea," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 186-193.
    4. Sirin, Selahattin Murat, 2011. "Energy market reforms in Turkey and their impact on innovation and R&D expenditures," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(9), pages 4579-4585.
    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.
    6. 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.
    7. Jamasb, Tooraj & Pollitt, Michael G., 2015. "Why and how to subsidise energy R+D: Lessons from the collapse and recovery of electricity innovation in the UK," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 197-205.
    8. 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.
    9. Delia Vasilica Rotaru, 2013. "The Uk Electricity Market Evolution During The Liberalization Process," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 5(2), pages 267-278.
    10. 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.
    11. Sirin, Selahattin Murat & Erdogan, Fakir H., 2013. "R&D expenditures in liberalized electricity markets: The case of Turkey," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 491-498.
    12. Albrecht, Johan & Laleman, Ruben & Vulsteke, Elien, 2015. "Balancing demand-pull and supply-push measures to support renewable electricity in Europe," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 267-277.

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    Keywords

    Energy R&D Technology policy;

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