Dynamics of Energy Technologies and Global Change

Grubler A, Nakicenovic N, & Victor DG (1999). Dynamics of Energy Technologies and Global Change. IIASA Research Report (Reprint). IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: RR-99-007. Reprinted from Energy Policy, 27:247-280

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Abstract

Technological choices largely determine the long-term characteristics of industrial society, including impacts on the natural environment. However, the treatment of technology in existing models that are used to project economic and environmental futures remains highly stylized. Based on work over two decades at IIASA, we present a useful typology for technology analysis and discuss methods that can be used to analyze the impact of technological changes on the global environment, especially global warming. Our focus is energy technologies, the main source of many atmospheric environmental problems. We show that much improved treatment of technology is possible with a combination of historical analysis and new modeling techniques. In the historical record, we identify characteristic "learning rates" that allow simple quantified characterization of the improvement in cost and performance due to cumulative experience and investments. We also identify patterns, processes and timescales that typify the diffusion of new technologies in competitive markets. Technologies that are long-lived and are components of interlocking networks typically require the longest time to diffuse and co-evolve with other technologies in the network; such network effects yield high barriers to entry even for superior competitors.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Research Report (Reprint))
Research Programs: Environmentally Compatible Energy Strategies (ECS)
Bibliographic Reference: Reprinted from Energy Policy; 27:247-280 [1999]
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:11
Last Modified: 24 Aug 2016 11:34
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/5945

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