Innovation Benefits from Nuclear Phase-Out: Can They Compensate the Costs?

22 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2013 Last revised: 17 Jul 2014

See all articles by Enrica De Cian

Enrica De Cian

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM); CMCC - Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici

Samuel Carrara

CMCC - Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici

Massimo Tavoni

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM); Princeton University - Princeton Environmental Institute

Date Written: January 16, 2013

Abstract

This paper investigates whether an inefficient allocation of abatement, due to constraints on the use of currently available low carbon mitigation options, can promote innovation in new technologies and eventually generate welfare gains. We focus on the case of nuclear power phase out, when accounting for endogenous technical change in energy efficiency and in low carbon technologies. The analysis uses the Integrated Assessment Model WITCH, which features multiple externalities due to both climate and innovation market failures. Our results show that phasing out nuclear power stimulates additional R&D investments and deployment of infant technologies with large learning potential. The innovation benefits which this would generate and that would not otherwise be captured due to intertemporal and international externalities almost completely offset the economic costs of phasing out nuclear power. The technological change benefit depends on the stringency of the climate policy and is distributed unevenly across countries.

Keywords: technological change, climate policy, nuclear phase-out

JEL Classification: H40, O33, Q40, Q55

Suggested Citation

De Cian, Enrica and Carrara, Samuel and Tavoni, Massimo, Innovation Benefits from Nuclear Phase-Out: Can They Compensate the Costs? (January 16, 2013). FEEM Working Paper No. 96.2012; CMCC Research Paper No. 153. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2201425 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2201425

Enrica De Cian (Contact Author)

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) ( email )

Campo S. M. Formosa, Castello 5252
Venice, 30122
Italy

CMCC - Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici ( email )

via Augusto Imperatore, 16
Lecce, I-73100
Italy

Samuel Carrara

CMCC - Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici ( email )

via Augusto Imperatore, 16
Lecce, I-73100
Italy

Massimo Tavoni

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) ( email )

Corso Magenta 63
20123 Milan
Italy

Princeton University - Princeton Environmental Institute

22 Chambers Street
Princeton, NJ 08544-0708
United States

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