FEEM working papers "Note di lavoro"
Date: 19/5/2015

Future Costs of Key Low-Carbon Energy Technologies: Harmonization and Aggregation of Energy Technology Expert Elicitation Data

Erin Baker (University of Massachussets Amherst); Valentina Bosetti (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei); Laura Diaz Anadon (Harvard University); Max Henrion (Lumina Decision Systems); Lara Aleluia Reis (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei)
Type: Journal
JEL n.: O30, O32, Q40, Q55
JEL: Energy Policy
Pages: Volume 80, Pages 219-232
Keywords: Expert Elicitation, Energy Technology Cost, R&D Investments


In this paper we standardize, compare, and aggregate results from thirteen surveys of technology experts, performed over a period of five years using a range of different methodologies, but all aiming at eliciting expert judgment on the future cost of five key energy technologies and how future costs might be influenced by public R&D investments. To enable researchers and policy makers to use the wealth of collective knowledge obtained through these expert elicitations we develop and present a set of assumptions to harmonize them. We also aggregate expert estimates within each study and across studies to facilitate the comparison. The analysis showed that, as expected, technology costs are expected to go down by 2030 with increasing levels of R&D investments, but that there is not a high level of agreement between individual experts or between studies regarding the technology areas that would benefit the most from R&D investments. This indicates that further study of prospective cost data may be useful to further inform R&D investments. We also found that the contributions of additional studies to the variance of costs in one technology area differed by technology area, suggesting that (barring new information about the downsides of particular forms of elicitations) there may be value in not only including a diverse and relatively large group of experts, but also in using different methods to collect estimates.

Suggested citation: Erin Baker, Valentina Bosetti, Laura Diaz Anadon, Max Henrion, Lara Aleluia Reis, Future costs of key low-carbon energy technologies: Harmonization and aggregation of energy technology expert elicitation data, Energy Policy, Volume 80, May 2015, Pages 219-232, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2014.10.008.

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