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Exploring Links Between Innovation and Diffusion: Adoption of NOx Control Technologies at U.S. Coal-Fired Power Plants

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  • David Popp

Abstract

While many studies have looked at innovation and adoption of technologies separately, the two processes are linked. Advances (and expected advances) in a single technology should affect both its adoption rate and the adoption of alternative technologies. Moreover, advances made abroad may affect adoption differently than improvements developed domestically. This paper combines plant-level data on U.S. coal-fired electric power plants with patent data pertaining to NOx pollution control techniques to study these links. I show that technological advances, particularly those made abroad, are important for the adoption of newer post-combustion treatment technologies, but have little effect on the adoption of older combustion modification techniques. Moreover, I provide evidence that adaptive R&D by U.S. firms is necessary before foreign innovations are adopted in the U.S. Expectations of future technological advances delay adoption. Nonetheless, as in other studies of environmental technologies, the effect of other explanatory variables is dominated by the effect of environmental regulations, demonstrating that the mere presence of environmental technologies is not enough to encourage its usage.

Suggested Citation

  • David Popp, 2006. "Exploring Links Between Innovation and Diffusion: Adoption of NOx Control Technologies at U.S. Coal-Fired Power Plants," NBER Working Papers 12119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12119
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Elaine F. Frey, 2013. "Technology Diffusion and Environmental Regulation: The Adoption of Scrubbers by Coal-Fired Power Plants," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    2. 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.
    3. Popp, David & Newell, Richard G. & Jaffe, Adam B., 2010. "Energy, the Environment, and Technological Change," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    4. Alessandra Colombelli & Jackie Krafft & Francesco Quatraro, 2015. "Eco-innovation and firm growth: Do green gazelles run faster? Microeconometric evidence from a sample of European firms," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201516, University of Turin.
    5. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-00860045 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Mary Lovely & David Popp, 2008. "Trade, Technology, and the Environment: Why Have Poor Countries Regulated Sooner?," NBER Working Papers 14286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Claudia Ghisetti & Francesco Quatraro, 2013. "Beyond the Inducement in Climate Change: Do Environmental Performances Spur Enrivornmental Technologies? A Regional Analysis of Cross-Sectoral Differences," Working Papers 2013112, University of Ferrara, Department of Economics.
    8. repec:wfo:wstudy:57897 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Brockmann, Karl Ludwig & Heindl, Peter & Löschel, Andreas & Lutz, Benjamin & Schumacher, Jan, 2012. "KfW/ZEW CO2 Barometer 2012: Anreizwirkung des EU-Emissionshandels auf Unternehmen gering – Klimapolitische Regulierung wenig relevant für Standortentscheidungen," KfW/ZEW-CO2-Barometer, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research, number 109796.
    10. Claudia Ghisetti & Francesco Quatraro, 2013. "Beyond inducement in climate change: Does environmental performance spur environmental technologies?," Post-Print hal-00860045, HAL.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation

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