NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Nidhi Santen

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Working Papers

December 2014Inter-temporal R&D and Capital Investment Portfolios for the Electricity Industry’s Low Carbon Future
with Mort D. Webster, David Popp, Ignacio Pérez-Arriaga: w20783
This paper explores cost-effective low-carbon R&D and capital investment portfolios for the electricity generation sector through 2060. We present a novel method for long-term planning by combining an economic model of endogenous non-linear technical change and a generation capacity planning model with key features of the electricity system. The model captures the complementary nature of technologies in the power sector; physical integration constraints; and the opportunity to build new knowledge capital as a non-linear function of R&D and accumulated knowledge, which reflects the diminishing marginal returns to research characteristic of the energy innovation process. We show portfolios for future scenarios with and without carbon emission limits, and demonstrate the importance of incl...
January 2012Technology Variation vs. R&D Uncertainty: What Matters Most for Energy Patent Success?
with David Popp, Karen Fisher-Vanden, Mort Webster: w17792
R&D is an uncertain activity with highly skewed outcomes. Nonetheless, most recent empirical studies and modeling estimates of the potential of technological change focus on the average returns to research and development (R&D) for a composite technology and contain little or no information about the distribution of returns to R&D--which could be important for capturing the range of costs associated with climate change mitigation policies--by individual technologies. Through an empirical study of patent citation data, this paper adds to the literature on returns to energy R&D by focusing on the behavior of the most successful innovations for six energy technologies, allowing us to determine whether uncertainty or differences in technologies matter most for success. We highlight two key ...

Published: “Technology Variation vs. R&D Uncertainty: What Matters Most for Energy Patent Success?” Resources and Energy Economics, November 2013, 35(4), 505-533 (with Nidhi Santen, Karen Fisher-Vanden and Mort Webster).

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