Energy and Climate Policy

Bending the Technological Trajectory

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Technological innovation can lower the cost of achieving environmental objectives, so it is important to understand how environmental policy design and technological innovation are linked. This is particularly true in the area of climate change where the estimated future costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions are affected greatly by the technological trajectory of the economy. While we suspect that public policy can play an important role in accelerating the development and diffusion of climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies, empirical evidence in this area remains scant. This book presents a series of papers that explore the extent to which technological innovation can lower the cost of achieving climate change mitigation objectives.

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Increasing the penetration of intermittent renewable energy: Innovation in energy storage and grid management

Intermittent renewable energy sources (wind, solar, ocean) present significant challenges to electricity grid management. In this chapter we present empirical results on the factors which encourage innovation and investment in energy storage and grid management technologies in order to increase grid flexibility. We argue that focussing policy incentives on innovation in these areas may obviate some of the problems associated with targeting R et D at specific generating technologies. Drawing upon a rich worldwide database of patent applications, with a dataset on 28 countries over three decades, we present preliminary analysis of the effects of different economic and structural factors on innovation in energy storage and grid management.

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