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Invention and Transfer of Environmental Technologies

image of Invention and Transfer of Environmental Technologies

Inducing environmental innovation is a significant challenge to policy-makers. Efforts to design public policies that address these issues are motivated by the fact that innovations can allow for improved environmental quality at lower cost. However, the relationship between environmental policy and technological innovation remains an area in which empirical evidence is scant.  Increased attention should be paid to the design characteristics of public policies that are likely to affect the ‘type’ of innovation induced.  The work presented in this book is brought together in five substantive chapters: environmental policy design characteristics and their role in inducing innovation, the role of public policies (including multilateral agreements) in encouraging transfer of environmental technologies, followed by three ‘sectoral’ studies of innovation in alternative fuel vehicles, solid waste management and recycling, and green (sustainable) chemistry. While particular focus has been placed on the role of environmental policy in bringing about the innovation documented, it is recognised that other factors play a key role in inducing innovation which has positive environmental implications.     

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Innovation in Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Technologies

The Role of Prices, Standards and R&D

Policy instruments are often introduced in combination, sometimes with different but related environmental objectives. In this chapter, the relative importance of fleet-level fuel-efficiency standards, after-tax fuel prices, and public support for R&D is examined using data on patenting activity in alternative-fuelled vehicles. It is found that relatively minor changes in a performance standard or automotive fuel prices would yield effects that are equivalent to a much greater proportional increase in public R&D budgets. However, there are significant differences between types of technologies – electric and hybrid vehicles. Our results suggest that appropriate sequencing of policy measures is important.

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