The optimal time path of clean energy R&D policy when patents have finite lifetime

R. Gerlagh, S. Kverndokk, K.E. Rosendahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

We study the optimal time path for clean energy innovation policy. In a model with emission reduction through clean energy deployment, and with R&D increasing the overall productivity of clean energy, we describe optimal R&D policies jointly with emission pricing policies. We find that while emission prices can be set at the Pigouvian level independently of innovation policy, the optimal level of R&D subsidies and patent lifetime change with the stages of the climate problem. In the early stages of clean energy development, innovators find it more difficult to capture the social value of their innovations. Thus, for a given finite patent lifetime, optimal clean energy R&D subsidies are initially high, but then fall over time. Alternatively, if research subsidies are kept constant, the optimal patent lifetime should initially be long and fall over time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-19
JournalJournal of Environmental Economics and Management
Volume67
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

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innovation
energy
pricing policy
policy
patent
Patent policy
Energy
productivity
climate
subsidy
Subsidies
Patents
Innovation policy
emission reduction
price
social value
Climate
Emission reduction
Innovators
Productivity

Keywords

  • dynamic climate policy
  • dynamic innovation subsidies
  • research and development
  • patent lifetime

Cite this

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abstract = "We study the optimal time path for clean energy innovation policy. In a model with emission reduction through clean energy deployment, and with R&D increasing the overall productivity of clean energy, we describe optimal R&D policies jointly with emission pricing policies. We find that while emission prices can be set at the Pigouvian level independently of innovation policy, the optimal level of R&D subsidies and patent lifetime change with the stages of the climate problem. In the early stages of clean energy development, innovators find it more difficult to capture the social value of their innovations. Thus, for a given finite patent lifetime, optimal clean energy R&D subsidies are initially high, but then fall over time. Alternatively, if research subsidies are kept constant, the optimal patent lifetime should initially be long and fall over time.",
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The optimal time path of clean energy R&D policy when patents have finite lifetime. / Gerlagh, R.; Kverndokk, S.; Rosendahl, K.E.

In: Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Vol. 67, No. 1, 01.2014, p. 2-19.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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