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[en] In most policy-oriented energy models, the effectiveness of energy policy instruments crucially depends both on the values of the substitution elasticities between the various inputs and on the rates of technological progress. In this paper, we argue that due to the fixed-cost nature of adjustments to relative price changes, these technological parameters are affected by past developments. Failing to account for the role of history will result in biased parameter estimates, and hence the implication for energy policy modelling is that the estimation period should be carefully selected. We provide an empirical illustration using data for the Netherlands
[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] As a society we are urgently seeking technical solutions to increase energy efficiency, and to reduce green house gas emissions, while at the same time our energy policy is silent on several many issues that are clearly at odds with this. For example, 'drive-thrus' which encourage unnecessary idling, are a staple of an increasing number of businesses, automatic vehicle starter units whose sole function is to increase vehicle idling times are increasing in popularity and becoming standard on some vehicles, and our urban designs increasingly demand ever more personal vehicle use. While technology may provide some solutions, the problem is essentially a sociological one and cannot be solved by technology alone. This paper quantitatively investigates GHG emission reductions possible from relatively simple social changes, and suggests avenues wherein proactive planning will lead to even larger gains. A blind reliance on technology to provide the solutions, while the public is continually presented with new and harmful products is not only presenting engineers with an impossible task, it is doomed to failure. There is a strong need for consistent energy policy, strong government involvement and a concerted and long term effort to educate the public on the implications of their energy choices. This type of policy not only has a direct and immediate impact, it also presents a consistent message that we are all part of the problem and we must all be part of the solution. Technology alone cannot provide a path to sustainability. (author)
[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] In order to meet the Kyoto CO2 reduction targets, technical innovations in the field of energy-efficiency must be diffused more rapidly and on a larger market scale. Markets develop gradually however, especially if innovations are involved. Diffusion starts with the innovators and early adopters (the early market), followed by the mainstream market (the early and late majority), and ends with the laggards. The actors in these markets differ in their willingness to adopt innovations: the early market actors have a visionary attitude, and the mainstream actors are more pragmatic. In order to choose policy instruments that will most effectively influence these two markets within the target group of housing association, we addressed the following two questions. (1) What are the differences between the early and mainstream markets actors from a behavioural change point of view, and (2) in what way do existing policy instruments differ in influencing the behaviour of these actors? We analysed early market and mainstream decision-making behaviour, and how the active ingredients in policy instruments specifically target the characteristics of the two markets. Mainstream instruments should intervene as early as possible in the decision-making process and emphasise communication about advantages such as comfort and quality in addition to money and energy savings, and present energy conservation as a solution to an actual problem. Instead of bureaucratic subsidy systems for the mainstream, the motto should be 'cash on the barrelhead'. Early market actors are highly internally motivated, implying that early market interventions have to be challenging and facilitating
[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] Environmental technology can contribute to solving many environmental challenges and to industrial development. Measures to support the development and use of such technologies can be regulatory, economic or administrative, and usually one needs to use a combination of different measures in order to reach both a better environment and industrial development. For industrial development other measures than those administered by environmental authorities will be of importance. The environmental authorities therefore need to acquire knowledge about these measures and the bodies administering them, and develop an operative cooperation with these actors