The case for a new energy research, development and promotion policy for the UK
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.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
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.:
- 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 513-24, July.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Roques, F.A. & Nuttall, W.J. & Newbery, D.M., 2006. "Using Probabilistic Analysis to Value Power Generation Investments Under Uncertainty," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0650, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:36:y:2008:i:12:p:4610-4614. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.