Keywords: technological change, energy: R&, D, learning by doing, public policy, energy technology dynamics, clean technology
Energy technology dynamics
The paper aims to identify both the major changes that have occurred in the energy sector during the past thirty years and the key driving forces that explain these changes. After a review of the key concepts provided by economic theory in order to analyse technical change in Section 2, Section 3 proposes an historical analysis of three main clusters of innovations that have profoundly altered the energy sector in the last decades. Section 4 and Section 5 aim to provide empirical elements for the characterisation of the two driving forces to technical change, i.e. public R&D and 'learning by doing' and experience effects. Finally, Section 6 and Section 7 provide insights for the design of energy technology policies, first with an assessment of the role of different types of uncertainties in technology dynamics and then by focusing on the role of public technology policies in the context of growing demand for cleaner technologies.