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[en] The introduction of new technology sometimes proceeds sluggishly due to discontinuity in incentive schemes. Estimating in advance which means are required, what a realistic time span is for the incentive scheme and continuing this scheme until the technology is marketable can significantly increase the success of innovation trajectories. [mk]
[nl]De introductie van nieuwe technologie verloopt soms moeizaam door discontinuiteit in stimuleringsregelingen. Door vooraf in te schatten hoeveel middelen nodig zijn, wat een reele tijdsduur is voor de stimuleringsregeling en deze vol te houden tot de technologie marktrijp is, kan het succes van innovatietrajecten aanmerkelijk vergroot worden
[en] From a study on data from the period 1991-1999 it appears that environmental policy has a positive effect on the technical efficiency in the greenhouse sector in the Netherlands
[nl]Milieubeleid heeft een positief effect op technische efficientie in de Nederlandse glastuinbouw. De overheersende mening in kringen van ondernemers, beleidsmakers en politici dat milieubeleid alleen maar tot hogere kosten leidt behoeft nuancering
[en] Due to the rapid growth in demand for certain materials, compounded by political risks associated with the geographical concentration of the supply of them, a shortage of these materials could be a potential bottleneck to the deployment of low-carbon energy technologies. In order to assess whether such shortages could jeopardise the objectives of the EU's Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan), an improved understanding of these risks is vital. In particular, this report examines the use of metals in the six low-carbon energy technologies of SET-Plan, namely: nuclear, solar, wind, bioenergy, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and electricity grids. The study looks at the average annual demand for each metal for the deployment of the technologies in Europe between 2020 and 2030. The demand of each metal is compared to the respective global production volume in 2010. This ratio (expressed as a percentage) allows comparing the relative stress that the deployment of the six technologies in Europe is expected to create on the global supplies for these different metals. The study identifies 14 metals for which the deployment of the six technologies will require 1% or more (and in some cases, much more) of current world supply per annum between 2020 and 2030. These 14 metals, in order of decreasing demand, are tellurium, indium, tin, hafnium, silver, dysprosium, gallium, neodymium, cadmium, nickel, molybdenum, vanadium, niobium and selenium. The metals are examined further in terms of the risks of meeting the anticipated demand by analysing in detail the likelihood of rapid future global demand growth, limitations to expanding supply in the short to medium term, and the concentration of supply and political risks associated with key suppliers. The report pinpoints 5 of the 14 metals to be at high risk, namely: the rare earth metals neodymium and dysprosium, and the by-products (from the processing of other metals) indium, tellurium and gallium. The report explores a set of potential mitigation strategies, ranging from expanding European output, increasing recycling and reuse to reducing waste and finding substitutes for these metals in their main applications.
[en] The relationship between technological change and environmental policy has received increasing attention from scholars and policy makers alike over the past ten years. This is partly because the environmental impacts of social activity are significantly affected by technological change, and partly because environmental policy interventions themselves create new constraints and incentives that affect the process of technological developments. Our central purpose in this article is to provide environmental economists with a useful guide to research on technological change and the analytical tools that can be used to explore further the interaction between technology and the environment. In Part 1 of the article, we provide an overview of analytical frameworks for investigating the economics of technological change, highlighting key issues for the researcher. In Part 2, we turn our attention to theoretical analysis of the effects of environmental policy on technological change, and in Part 3, we focus on issues related to the empirical analysis of technology innovation and diffusion. Finally, we conclude in Part 4 with some additional suggestions for research
[en] This report has been written on account of knowledge questions formulated by the Working Group Energy and Climate. This Working Group has been established in the framework of the Broad Reconsideration of Dutch government policy caused by the economic crisis of 2008-2009. Its task is to investigate the possibilities for a structural reduction of government spending by 20% on sustainable energy, energy saving and fiscal advantages carrying non-sustainable incentives. Apart from that, spending on policies aimed at mitigating climate change are scrutinized. In connection with this task, the working group has formulated knowledge questions which refer to cost effectiveness and possibilities for target achievement, possibilities within the European Renewables Directive and learning curves and innovation. This report addresses the latter two themes: learning curves and innovation. The selection of technologies assessed is not all-embracing, but based on the technologies within the SDE regulation (Dutch regulation on support for sustainable energy) supplemented by some promising innovations.
[nl]Dit rapport is geschreven naar aanleiding van kennisvragen van de werkgroep Energie en Klimaat die in het kader van de Brede Heroverwegingen van het regeringsbeleid is opgericht. De Brede Heroverwegingen zijn een gevolg van de economische crisis van 2008-2009. De werkgroep heeft tot taak de mogelijkheden te onderzoeken om structureel 20% besparen op overheidsuitgaven aan duurzame energie, energie efficiency en fiscale voordelen die niet-duurzame prikkels met zich meebrengen. Daarnaast worden de uitgaven voor beleid gericht op het tegengaan van klimaatverandering onder de loep genomen. Naar aanleiding van deze opdracht heeft de werkgroep kennisvragen geformuleerd die betrekking hebben op kosteneffectiviteit en mogelijkheden voor doelbereik, de mogelijkheden binnen de Europese Hernieuwbare Energie richtlijn en leercurven en innovatie. Dit rapport gaat in op de laatste twee thema's: leercurven en innovatie. De selectie van behandelde technologieen is niet allesomvattend, maar gebaseerd op de technologieen binnen de SDE-regeling plus enkele veelbelovende innovaties.
[en] This paper studies the adoption and diffusion of energy-saving technologies in a vintage model. An important characteristic of the model is that vintages are complementary: there are returns to diversity of using a mix of vintages. We analyse how diffusion patterns and adoption behaviour are affected by complementarity and learning-by-using. It is shown that the stronger the complementarity between different vintages and the stronger the learning-by-using, the longer it takes before firms scrap old vintages. We argue that this is a relevant part of the explanation for the observed slow diffusion of energy-saving technologies. Finally, we show that an energy price tax reduces energy consumption, because it speeds up the diffusion of new energy-saving technologies and induces substitution from capital to labour
[en] This paper analyzes the consequences of unilateral climate policy in the presence of directed technical change. We develop a dynamic two-country model in which two otherwise identical countries differ in their environmental policy: one of the countries enforces a (binding) cap on emissions while the other does not. Focusing on carbon leakage, we show how, compared with a 'traditional' endogenous growth model, directed technical change will always lead to lower emissions in the unconstrained country. When clean and dirty goods are good substitutes, it may even be induced to reduce its emissions below the optimum level when both countries are unconstrained, so leakage is negative
[en] Renewable resources pose special challenges to process synthesis. Due to decentral raw material generation, usually low transport densities and the perishable character of most renewable raw materials in combination with their time dependent availability, logistical questions as well as adaptation to regional agricultural structures are necessary. This calls for synthesis of structures not only of single processes but of the whole value chain attached to the utilisation of a certain resource. As most of the innovative technologies proposed to build on a renewable raw material base face stiff economic competition from fossil based processes, economic optimality of the value chain is crucial to their implementation. On top of this widening of the process definition for synthesis, many processes on the base of renewable resources apply technologies (like membrane separations, chromatographic purification steps, etc.) for which the heuristic knowledge is still slim. This reduces the choice of methods for process synthesis, mainly to methods based on combinatorial principles. The paper investigates applicability as well as impact on technology development of process synthesis for renewable raw material utilisation. It takes logistic considerations into account and applies process synthesis to the case study of the green biorefinery concept. The results show the great potential of process synthesis for technology development of renewable resource utilisation. Applied early in the development phase, it can point towards the most promising utilisation pathways, thus guiding the engineering work. On top of that, and even more important, it can help avoid costly development flops as it also clearly indicates 'blind alleys' that have to be avoided
[en] This paper provides a detailed analysis of how the European Emission Trading System (EU ETS) as the core climate policy instrument of the European Union has impacted innovation. Towards this end, we investigate the impact of the EU ETS on research, development and demonstration (RD and D), adoption, and organizational change. In doing so, we pay particular attention to the relative influences of context factors (policy mix, market factors and public acceptance) and firm characteristics (value chain position, technology portfolio, size and vision). Empirically, our qualitative analysis is based on multiple case studies with 19 power generators, technology providers and project developers in the German power sector which were conducted in 2008/09. We find that the innovation impact of the EU ETS has remained limited so far because of the scheme's initial lack of stringency and predictability and the relatively greater importance of context factors. Additionally, the impact varies significantly across technologies, firms, and innovation dimensions and is most pronounced for RD and D on carbon capture technologies and organizational changes. Our analysis suggests that the EU ETS on its own may not provide sufficient incentives for fundamental changes in corporate innovation activities at a level which ensures political long-term targets can be achieved. (author)