Learning or lock-in: Optimal technology policies to support mitigation
We investigate conditions that amplify market failures in energy innovations, and suggest optimal policy instruments to address them. Using an intertemporal general equilibrium model we show that ‘small’ market imperfections may trigger a several decades lasting dominance of an incumbent energy technology over a dynamically more efficient competitor, given that the technologies are very good substitutes. Such a ‘lock-in’ into an inferior technology causes significantly higher welfare losses than market failure alone, notably under ambitious mitigation targets. More than other innovative industries, energy markets are prone to these lock-ins because electricity from different technologies is an almost perfect substitute. To guide government intervention, we compare welfare-maximizing technology policies including subsidies, quotas, and taxes with regard to their efficiency, effectivity, and robustness. Technology quotas and feed-in-tariffs turn out to be only insignificantly less efficient than first-best subsidies and seem to be more robust against small perturbations.
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.:
- 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.
- Goulder, Lawrence H. & Mathai, Koshy, 2000. "Optimal CO2 Abatement in the Presence of Induced Technological Change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-38, January.
- Irwin, Douglas A & Klenow, Peter J, 1994. "Learning-by-Doing Spillovers in the Semiconductor Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1200-1227, December.
- Fischer, Carolyn & Newell, Richard G., 2008.
"Environmental and technology policies for climate mitigation,"
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management,
Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 142-162, March.
- Fischer, Carolyn & Newell, Richard, 2004. "Environmental and Technology Policies for Climate Mitigation," Discussion Papers dp-04-05, Resources For the Future.
- Enrica De Cian & Valentina Bosetti & Alessandra Sgobbi & Massimo Tavoni, 2009. "The 2008 WITCH Model: New Model Features and Baseline," Working Papers 2009.85, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
- Fischer, Carolyn & Preonas, Louis, 2010.
"Combining Policies for Renewable Energy: Is the Whole Less Than the Sum of Its Parts?,"
International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics,
now publishers, vol. 4(1), pages 51-92, June.
- Fischer, Carolyn & Preonas, Louis, 2010. "Combining Policies for Renewable Energy: Is the Whole Less than the Sum of Its Parts?," Discussion Papers dp-10-19, Resources For the Future.
- Kverndokk,S. & Rosendahl,K.E. & Rutherford,T.F., 2001.
"Climate policies and induced technological change : which to choose the carrot or the stick?,"
26/2001, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
- Snorre Kverndokk & Knut Rosendahl & Thomas Rutherford, 2004. "Climate Policies and Induced Technological Change: Which to Choose, the Carrot or the Stick?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 27(1), pages 21-41, January.
- Sabine Messner, 1997. "Endogenized technological learning in an energy systems model," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 291-313.
- Bohringer, Christoph & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2008. "Combining bottom-up and top-down," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 574-596, March.
- Ottmar Edenhofer & Brigitte Knopf & Terry Barker & Lavinia Baumstark & Elie Bellevrat & Bertrand Chateau & Patrick Criqui & Morna Isaac & Alban Kitous & Socrates Kypreos & Marian Leimbach & Kai Lessma, 2010.
"The economics of low stabilization: Model comparison of mitigation strategies and costs,"
- Ottmar Edenhofer , Brigitte Knopf, Terry Barker, Lavinia Baumstark, Elie Bellevrat, Bertrand Chateau, Patrick Criqui, Morna Isaac, Alban Kitous, Socrates Kypreos, Marian Leimbach, Kai Lessmann, Bertra, 2010. "The Economics of Low Stabilization: Model Comparison of Mitigation Strategies and Costs," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I).
- Goulder, Lawrence H. & Schneider, Stephen H., 1999. "Induced technological change and the attractiveness of CO2 abatement policies," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3-4), pages 211-253, August.
- Fischer, Carolyn & Preonas, Louis, 2010. "Combining Policies for Renewable Energy: Is the Whole Less than the Sum of Its Parts?," 14th ICABR Conference, June 16-18, 2010, Ravello, Italy 188090, International Consortium on Applied Bioeconomy Research (ICABR).
- Salvador Barrios & Eric Strobl, 2004.
"Learning by Doing and Spillovers: Evidence from Firm-Level Panel Data,"
Review of Industrial Organization,
Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 25(2), pages 175-203, 06.
- Salvador Barrios & Eric Strobl, "undated". "Learning by Doing and Spillovers: Evidence from Firm-Level Panel Data," Working Papers 2002-09, FEDEA.
- Nordhaus, William, 2011. "Designing a friendly space for technological change to slow global warming," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 665-673, July.
- Reyer Gerlagh & Snorre Kverndokk & Knut Einar Rosendah, 2008.
"Linking Environmental and Innovation Policy,"
2008.53, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
- Gerlagh, Reyer & Lise, Wietze, 2005. "Carbon taxes: A drop in the ocean, or a drop that erodes the stone? The effect of carbon taxes on technological change," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2-3), pages 241-260, August.
- Harald Gruber, 1998. "Learning by Doing and Spillovers: Further Evidence for the Semiconductor Industry," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 13(6), pages 697-711, December.
- Unruh, Gregory C., 2000. "Understanding carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 817-830, October.
- Islas, Jorge, 1997. "Getting round the lock-in in electricity generating systems: the example of the gas turbine," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 49-66, March.
- McDonald, Alan & Schrattenholzer, Leo, 2001. "Learning rates for energy technologies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 255-261, March.
- Cusumano, Michael A. & Mylonadis, Yiorgos & Rosenbloom, Richard S., 1992. "Strategic Maneuvering and Mass-Market Dynamics: The Triumph of VHS over Beta," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(01), pages 51-94, March.
- David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-337, May.
- Rivers, Nic & Jaccard, Mark, 2006. "Choice of environmental policy in the presence of learning by doing," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 223-242, March.
- 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.
- Edenhofer, Ottmar & Bauer, Nico & Kriegler, Elmar, 2005. "The impact of technological change on climate protection and welfare: Insights from the model MIND," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2-3), pages 277-292, August.
- Spence, Michael, 1984. "Cost Reduction, Competition, and Industry Performance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 101-121, January.
- van der Zwaan, B. C. C. & Gerlagh, R. & G. & Klaassen & Schrattenholzer, L., 2002. "Endogenous technological change in climate change modelling," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 1-19, January.
- Manne, Alan & Mendelsohn, Robert & Richels, Richard, 1995. "MERGE : A model for evaluating regional and global effects of GHG reduction policies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 17-34, January.
- Unruh, Gregory C., 2002. "Escaping carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 317-325, March.
- 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.
- Kverndokk, Snorre & Rosendahl, Knut Einar, 2007. "Climate policies and learning by doing: Impacts and timing of technology subsidies," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 58-82, January.
- Schmidt, Robert C. & Marschinski, Robert, 2009. "A model of technological breakthrough in the renewable energy sector," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 435-444, December.
- Matthias Kalkuhl & Ottmar Edenhofer, 2010. "Prices vs. Quantities and the Intertemporal Dynamics of the Climate Rent," CESifo Working Paper Series 3044, CESifo Group Munich.
- Arthur, W Brian, 1989. "Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 116-131, March.
- Pankaj Ghemawat & A. Michael Spence, 1985. "Learning Curve Spillovers and Market Performance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(Supplemen), pages 839-852.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:resene:v:34:y:2012:i:1:p:1-23. 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: (Dana Niculescu)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.