Future capacity growth of energy technologies: are scenarios consistent with historical evidence?
Future scenarios of the energy system under greenhouse gas emission constraints depict dramatic growth in a range of energy technologies. Technological growth dynamics observed historically provide a useful comparator for these future trajectories. We find that historical time series data reveal a consistent relationship between how much a technology’s cumulative installed capacity grows, and how long this growth takes. This relationship between extent (how much) and duration (for how long) is consistent across both energy supply and end-use technologies, and both established and emerging technologies. We then develop and test an approach for using this historical relationship to assess technological trajectories in future scenarios. Our approach for “learning from the past” contributes to the assessment and verification of integrated assessment and energy-economic models used to generate quantitative scenarios. Using data on power generation technologies from two such models, we also find a consistent extent - duration relationship across both technologies and scenarios. This relationship describes future low carbon technological growth in the power sector which appears to be conservative relative to what has been evidenced historically. Specifically, future extents of capacity growth are comparatively low given the lengthy time duration of that growth. We treat this finding with caution due to the low number of data points. Yet it remains counter-intuitive given the extremely rapid growth rates of certain low carbon technologies under stringent emission constraints. We explore possible reasons for the apparent scenario conservatism, and find parametric or structural conservatism in the underlying models to be one possible explanation. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013
Volume (Year): 118 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.springer.com|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/10584|
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.:
- Azar, Christian & Lindgren, Kristian & Andersson, Bjorn A., 2003. "Global energy scenarios meeting stringent CO2 constraints--cost-effective fuel choices in the transportation sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(10), pages 961-976, August.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Aghion, Philippe & Bursztyn, Leonardo & Hemous, David, 2010.
"The Environment and Directed Technical Change,"
762, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Aghion, Philippe & Bursztyn, Leonardo & Hemous, David, 2011. "The Environment and Directed Technical Change," CEPR Discussion Papers 8660, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Leonardo Bursztyn & David Hemous, 2009. "The Environment and Directed Technical Change," NBER Working Papers 15451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Leonardo Bursztyn & David Hemous, 2010. "The Environment and Directed Technical Change," Working Papers 2010.93, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
- Ek, Kristina & Söderholm, Patrik, 2010. "Technology learning in the presence of public R&D: The case of European wind power," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 2356-2362, October.
- Yeh, Sonia & Rubin, Edward S., 2012. "A review of uncertainties in technology experience curves," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 762-771.
- Nic Rivers & Mark Jaccard, 2005. "Combining Top-Down and Bottom-Up Approaches to Energy-Economy Modeling Using Discrete Choice Methods," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 83-106.
- William A. Pizer & David Popp, 2007.
"Endogenizing Technological Change: Matching Empirical Evidence to Modeling Needs,"
NBER Working Papers
13053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Pizer, William A. & Popp, David, 2008. "Endogenizing technological change: Matching empirical evidence to modeling needs," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 2754-2770, November.
- Pizer, William A. & Popp, David, 2007. "Endogenizing Technological Change: Matching Empirical Evidence to Modeling Needs," Discussion Papers dp-07-11, Resources For the Future.
- Grubler, Arnulf & Nakicenovic, Nebojsa & Victor, David G., 1999. "Dynamics of energy technologies and global change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 247-280, May.
- Fouquet, Roger, 2010.
"The slow search for solutions: Lessons from historical energy transitions by sector and service,"
Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 6586-6596, November.
- Roger Fouquet, 2010. "The Slow Search for Solutions: Lessons from Historical Energy Transitions by Sector and Service," Working Papers 2010-05, BC3.
- Gillingham, Kenneth & Newell, Richard G. & Pizer, William A., 2008.
"Modeling endogenous technological change for climate policy analysis,"
Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 2734-2753, November.
- Gillingham, Kenneth T. & Newell, Richard G. & Pizer, William A., 2007. "Modeling Endogenous Technological Change for Climate Policy Analysis," Discussion Papers dp-07-14, Resources For the Future.
- 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.
- Ma, T. & Grubler, A. & Nakamori, Y., 2009. "Modeling technology adoptions for sustainable development under increasing returns, uncertainty, and heterogeneous agents," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 195(1), pages 296-306, May.
- Kruyt, Bert & van Vuuren, D.P. & de Vries, H.J.M. & Groenenberg, H., 2009. "Indicators for energy security," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2166-2181, June.
- Ma, Tieju & Nakamori, Yoshiteru, 2009. "Modeling technological change in energy systems – From optimization to agent-based modeling," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 873-879.
- van Vuuren, Detlef P. & Hoogwijk, Monique & Barker, Terry & Riahi, Keywan & Boeters, Stefan & Chateau, Jean & Scrieciu, Serban & van Vliet, Jasper & Masui, Toshihiko & Blok, Kornelis & Blomen, Eliane , 2009. "Comparison of top-down and bottom-up estimates of sectoral and regional greenhouse gas emission reduction potentials," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5125-5139, December.
- Unruh, Gregory C., 2000. "Understanding carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 817-830, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:118:y:2013:i:2:p:381-395. 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: (Sonal Shukla)or (Rebekah McClure)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.