Lessons for Policy, Industry and Science
Edited by Martin Junginger, Wilfried van Sark and André Faaij
Chapter 20: Methodological Lessons and Recommendations for Scientists and Modellers
20. Methodological lessons and recommendations for scientists and modellers Wilfried van Sark, Martin Junginger and André Faaij 20.1 INTRODUCTION The valuable use of experience curve analyses has been amply demonstrated in the previous technology overview chapters, as summarized in Chapter 19. For both energy supply and energy demand technologies, technological learning as expressed through experience curves can be used in energy models. However, several lessons have been learned in using experience curves. In this chapter, we will discuss methodological lessons, and from those we will formulate recommendations for further scientific development of experience curve analysis. 20.2 20.2.1 LESSONS LEARNED Prices Versus Costs For reasons of data availability, prices are commonly used to construct experience curves, assuming that a certain relation exists between prices and costs, with a constant relative difference (see Figure 3.1). However, such a relation depends on the market maturity of the product or technology under study, and on a healthy balance between supply and demand, at least over the timeframe investigated. Fluctuations in price can clearly be seen in many experience curves, which illustrates the different stages of a specific technology in the market. Although the scientific community is well aware of this, prices are used as a proxy for cost, because cost data are very hard to get. The majority of studies scrutinized in Chapters 6–18 do not perform such an analysis, or only when stable or increasing prices are found, suggesting no learning takes place. However, especially if only 262 Methodological lessons for scientists...
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