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Wind Power in Europe: A Simultaneous Innovation–Diffusion Model

  • Patrik Söderholm


  • Ger Klaassen

The purpose of this paper is to provide a quantitative analysis of innovation and diffusion in the European wind power sector. We derive a simultaneous model of wind power innovation and diffusion, which combines a rational choice model of technological diffusion and a learning curve model of dynamic cost reductions. These models are estimated using pooled annual time series data for four European countries (Denmark, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom) over the time period 1986–2000. The empirical results indicate that reductions in investment costs have been important determinants of increased diffusion of wind power, and these cost reductions can in turn be explained by learning activities and public R&D support. Feed-in tariffs also play an important role in the innovation and diffusion processes. The higher is the feed-in price the higher is, ceteris paribus, the rate of diffusion, and we present some preliminary empirical support for the notion that the impact on diffusion of a marginal increase in the feed-in tariff will differ depending on the support system used. High feed-in tariffs, though, also have a negative effect on cost reductions as they induce wind generators to choose high-cost sites and provide fewer incentives for cost cuts. This illustrates the importance of designing an efficient wind energy support system, which not only promotes diffusion but also provides continuous incentives for cost-reducing innovations. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

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Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 36 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 163-190

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:36:y:2007:i:2:p:163-190
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