Technological learning in the energy sector
Technology learning is a key driver behind the improvement of (energy) technologies available to mankind and subsequent reduction of production costs. Many of the conventional technologies in use today have already been continuously improved over decades, sometimes even a century. In contrast, many renewable / clean fossil fuel energy technologies and energy saving technologies still have higher production costs, but lower fuel demands and greenhouse gas emissions. One approach to analyze both past and future production cost reduction is the experience curve approach.
Based on a wide-ranging literature review, this study, performed within the framework of the Scientific Assessment and Policy Analysis programme for climate change (WAB), aims to provide:
- A comprehensive review of studies on technological development and cost reductions performed for a large range of energy technologies, including renewable energy technologies, (clean) fossil fuel technologies and energy efficient technologies using the experience curve concept.
- An overview and thorough analysis / discussion of the pitfalls of applying the experience curve approach, based on the issues identified in the various technology studies, and including aspects such as geographical system boundaries, whether the slope of the experience curves is constant or not, statistical error and sensitivity analysis of experience curves, and whether the experience curve approach can also be utilized to quantify improvements in energy efficiency.
- A demonstration how declining production costs can also be translated in CO2eq. reduction costs.
- A discussion to what extent policy interventions (by measures to support 'learning-bysearching' and 'learning-by-doing') have been successful in accelerating technological learning and associated production cost reductions.
|Author(s)||Junginger M ; Lako P ; Lensink S ; Sark W van ; Weiss M|