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Exploring Experience Curves for the Building Envelope: An Investigation for Switzerland for 1970–2020

  • Martin Jakob

    ()

    (Center for Energy Policy and Economics CEPE, Department of Management, Technology and Economics, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)

  • Reinhard Madlener

    ()

    (Center for Energy Policy and Economics CEPE, Department of Management, Technology and Economics, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)

Energy efficiency potentials slumbering in the envelopes of existing and newly constructed buildings are significant and still largely untapped. Increasing concerns of policy-makers about non-sustainable energy use and its implications especially on climate change currently spur a growing interest in research in this area. The aim of this paper is to fill part of the existing knowledge gap by focusing on experience curve aspects of energy efficiency measures that concern state-of-the-art insulation methods, materials, and windows, and by studying the usefulness of such experience curves for the building envelope for energy policy design and evaluation. The analysis draws on a recent investigation of the situation in Switzerland (Jakob et al. 2002), but also contains a wider perspective especially regarding some more global technological trends and the market diffusion of innovative energy conservation technologies for the building envelope, policy designs, and policy programmes. The results derived from historical data analysis point to significant techno-economic progress over the last 30 years, and demonstrate the basic applicability, merits and limitations of the experience curve concept for energy policy design and impact analyses concerning the building envelope. We conclude from our analysis that building standards and labels can be important drivers for technoeconomic progress, apart from the energy conservation potentials offered, and that experience curves can be a useful tool for targeted and effective policy measures and for the promotion of labels and standards.

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File URL: http://www.cepe.ethz.ch/publications/workingPapers/CEPE_WP22.pdf
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Paper provided by CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich in its series CEPE Working paper series with number 03-22.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cee:wpcepe:03-22
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  1. Richard G. Newell & Adam B. Jaffe & Robert N. Stavins, 1998. "The Induced Innovation Hypothesis and Energy-Saving Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 6437, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ronald J. Sutherland, 1991. "Market Barriers to Energy-Efficiency Investments," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 15-34.
  3. Thompson, Philip B, 1997. "Evaluating energy efficiency investments: accounting for risk in the discounting process," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(12), pages 989-996, October.
  4. Sharon M. Oster & John M. Quigley, 1977. "Regulatory Barriers to the Diffusion of Innovation: Some Evidence from Building Codes," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(2), pages 361-377, Autumn.
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