Technology diffusion and climate policy: a network approach and its application to wind energy

The role of technology transfer in the mitigation of climate change has been strongly emphasized in the recent policy debate. This paper,  Technology Diffusion and Climate Policy: A network approach and its application to wind energy, offers a network-based perspective on the issue. First, the authors propose a methodology to infer from technology adoption data the network of diffusion and apply it to a detailed dataset on wind energy technologies installed globally since the 1980s. The authors then perform a statistical analysis of the network. It highlights a relatively inefficient organization, characterized in particular by the weakness of South-South links, which leads to relatively long lags in the diffusion process. Against this background, the authors characterize optimal transfer/seeding strategies for an agent that aims to introduce a new technology in a developing country in view of further diffusion. Our results suggest in particular that CDM projects have been too concentrated in large emerging economies and that developed countries should put a stronger weight on the positive externalities in terms of technology transfer of cooperating with less prominent developing countries.

Paris School of Economics, Centre d’économie de la Sorbonne, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France

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The authors would like to thank for their comments and suggestions the editor, two anonymous reviewers, Michael Grubb, Jochen Hinkel, Diana Mangalagiu, Katrin Millock, and participants of Advances in the Modelling of Innovation and Finance Workshop, the 6th FAERE Green Innovation Workshop, the European Conference on Climate Adaptation 2017. The usual disclaimer applies. Both authors also acknowledge the support of H2020 project grant GREEN-WIN 642018.

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