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Relating R&D and Investment Policies to CCS Market Diffusion Through Two-Factor Learning

  • Lohwasser, Richard

    ()

    (E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN))

  • Madlener, Reinhard

    ()

    (E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN))

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies have the potential to play a major role in the stabilization of anthropogenic greenhouse gases. To develop the capture technology from its current early pilot phase towards commercial maturity, significant public and private funding is directed towards R&D projects and pilot power plants. However, we know little about how this funding relates to the economics of CCS power plants and their market diffusion. This paper addresses that question. We initially review past learning effects from both capacity installations and R&D efforts for a similar technology, flue-gas desulfurization, using the concept of two-factor learning, and estimate the learning curve. We apply the obtained learning-by-doing rate of 7.1% and the learning-by-researching rate of 6.6% to CCS in the electricity market model HECTOR, which simulates 19 European countries hourly until 2040, to understand the impact of learning and associated policies on the market diffusion of CCS. Simulation results show that the individual impact of learning is similar for both learning rates, regardless of the CO2 price. We then evaluate the effectiveness of policies subsidizing CCS investment costs (addressing learning-by-doing) and of policies providing R&D grants (addressing learning-by-researching) by relating the policy budget to the realized CCS capacity. We find that policies promoting diffusion through subsidies are, at lower policy cost, about equally effective as policies providing R&D funding. At higher spending levels, diffusion-promoting policies are more effective. Overall, policy effectiveness increases in low CO2 price scenarios, but the CO2 price still remains the key prerequisite for the economic competitiveness of CCS, even with major policy support.

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Paper provided by E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN) in its series FCN Working Papers with number 6/2010.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:fcnwpa:2010_006
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.eonerc.rwth-aachen.de/fcn
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  1. Harmsen - van Hout, Marjolein J.W. & Dellaert, Benedict G.C. & Herings, P. Jean-Jacques, 2010. "Behavioral Effects in Individual Decisions of Network Formation: Complexity Reduces Payoff Orientation and Social Preferences," FCN Working Papers 5/2010, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
  2. Kahouli-Brahmi, Sondes, 2008. "Technological learning in energy-environment-economy modelling: A survey," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 138-162, January.
  3. Lang, Joachim & Madlener, Reinhard, 2010. "Relevance of Risk Capital and Margining for the Valuation of Power Plants: Cash Requirements for Credit Risk Mitigation," FCN Working Papers 1/2010, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
  4. Jonathan Kohler, Michael Grubb, David Popp and Ottmar Edenhofer , 2006. "The Transition to Endogenous Technical Change in Climate-Economy Models: A Technical Overview to the Innovation Modeling Comparison Project," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I), pages 17-56.
  5. Harmsen - van Hout, Marjolein J.W. & Herings, P. Jean-Jacques & Dellaert, Benedict G.C., 2010. "The Structure of Online Consumer Communication Networks," FCN Working Papers 3/2010, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
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