Innovation under Uncertainty

Innovation under Uncertainty

The Future of Carbon-free Energy Technologies

The Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei series on Economics, the Environment and Sustainable Development

Edited by Valentina Bosetti and Michela Catenacci

Innovation under Uncertainty presents original research and insights on innovation in carbon-free energy technologies. Valentina Bosetti and Michela Catenacci provide a complete and informative assessment of the current potentials and limits and offer a detailed analysis of what could, or should, be the drivers to support their success and large-scale diffusion. The results provided in this book offer important and concrete insights and recommendations concerning the development and the deployment of more efficient generation technologies, the demand for which will undoubtedly increase alongside the growing concern for environmental issues and global warming.

Chapter 2: The Future Prospect of PV and CSP Solar Technologies

Valentina Bosetti, Michela Catenacci, Giulia Fiorese and Elena Verdolini

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, energy economics, environmental economics, environment, climate change, energy economics, environmental economics, innovation and technology, economics of innovation

Extract

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) represent promising options for electricity production and could significantly contribute to lowering CO2 emissions and dependence from fossil fuels. PV and CSP are among nine ‘technological paths’1 which the EU and its Member States plan to implement to collectively promote sustainable energy use (EC, 2009). EU commitment to solar technologies has been strong in the last decade. In 2007, solar PV and CSP represented around 27 percent of public Research and Development (R & D) investments in non-nuclear low carbon technologies in the EU, reaching around 275 million USD.2 Collectively, EU public R & D investment in 2007 was higher than public support in the USA (EC, 2009 and IEA, 2011). The highest contributions for PV came from Germany and France, while Italy and Spain led the investments in CSP. The Green Fund included in the economic stimulus packages of 2010 for the EU Member States and Norway totalled 54.2 billion USD, of which around 3.5 were devoted to low carbon renewable energy (Robins et al., 2009 and HSBC, 2009). In addition, a number of countries have implemented feed-intariffs and other forms of support to small and large scale solar technology deployment as well as targeted tax breaks (IEA, 2012).

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