Uncertainties in Technology Experience Curves for Integrated Assessment Models

Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 43, No. 18, pp. 6907-6914, 2009

35 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2008 Last revised: 19 Apr 2012

Sonia Yeh

University of California, Davis - Institute of Transportation Studies

Edward Rubin

affiliation not provided to SSRN

David A. Hounshell

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of History

Margaret R. Taylor

University of California, Berkeley - The Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy

Date Written: July 2, 2007

Abstract

The phenomenon of technological learning has been observed across a wide spectrum of energy and environmental technologies. Quantitative modeling of experience curves has become an increasingly common method of representing endogenous technical change in long-term integrated assessment models used for energy and environmental policy analysis. However, many issues remain to be addressed in the use of experience curves to quantify long-term cost trends of energy technologies. This paper highlights and critically reviews some of the major sources of uncertainty and their implications to model outcomes. It draws on recent empirical literature, as well as on new data characterizing historical cost trends in the early deployment of three environmental technologies especially relevant to energy systems. Our findings indicate the need for a more thorough and systematic examination of the uncertainty of experience curve formulations on the outcomes of energy and environmental policy analyses that extend over many decades.

Keywords: Experience curve, learning curve, learning-by-doing, uncertainties, endogenous technological change, integrated assessment models

Suggested Citation

Yeh, Sonia and Rubin, Edward and Hounshell, David A. and Taylor, Margaret R., Uncertainties in Technology Experience Curves for Integrated Assessment Models (July 2, 2007). Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 43, No. 18, pp. 6907-6914, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1154762

Sonia Yeh (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - Institute of Transportation Studies ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States

HOME PAGE: http://steps.ucdavis.edu/People/slyeh

Edward Rubin

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

David A. Hounshell

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of History ( email )

College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
United States
412 268-1019 (Phone)

Margaret R. Taylor

University of California, Berkeley - The Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy ( email )

2607 Hearst Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720-7320
United States

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