IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Learning Curves for Energy Technology and Policy Analysis: A Critical Assessment


  • Tooraj Jamasb

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge)

  • Jonathan Kohler

    (Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge)


In this paper, which forms a chapter in the forthcoming Book “Delivering a Low Carbon Electricity System: Technologies, Economics and Policy”†, Jamasb and Kohler revisit the literature on learning curves and their application to energy technology and climate change policy analysis and modeling. The academic literature and policy documents have in recent years embraced the learning curves and applied the concept to technology analysis and forecasting cost reductions. We argue that learning curves have often been used or assumed uncritically in technology analysis and draw parallels between the use of learning rates in energy technological progress and climate change modeling to that of discount rates in social cost benefit analysis. The paper discusses that care needs to be taken in applying learning curves, originally developed as an empirical tool to assess the effect of learning by doing in manufacturing, to analysis innovation and technical change. Finally, we suggest some potential extensions of learning curves, e.g. by incorporating R&D and diffusion effects into learning models, and other areas where learning curves may potentially be a useful tool in energy technology policy and analysis.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Tooraj Jamasb & Jonathan Kohler, 2007. "Learning Curves for Energy Technology and Policy Analysis: A Critical Assessment," Working Papers EPRG 0723, Energy Policy Research Group, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:enp:wpaper:eprg0723

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    More about this item


    Energy technology; electricity; technical change; learning curves;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:enp:wpaper:eprg0723. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Ruth Newman (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.