The New Economics of Innovation and Transition: Evaluating Opportunities and Risks

Aug 1, 2023

This report is not only about the promise such technologies hold for the clean energy transition, but about the lessons we can draw from such examples. It is about how we think, and often fail to recognise or understand the opportunities that arise from innovation and transition in major technologies and systems. Case studies, detailed in the Online Appendix, delve further into the three cases illustrated above, including their development in the major emerging economies indicated. Beyond R&D, all highlight strong and sustained government action in market and industry developments. Moreover, often it was action taken despite (rather than because of) traditional approaches to economic appraisal – delivering changes which have rendered largely irrelevant numerous historical (and even recent) modelling estimates of how much it would cost to tackle climate change – and how best to go about it. Consequently, this report starts by outlining the fundamental features of traditional economic appraisal. It then turns to look at each of the three historical cases above, including how these changes occurred and the role of government policy and appraisal in each. The report then outlines alternative approaches to economic appraisal which better capture the real economics of innovation and transition, particularly in relation to the challenge of deep decarbonisation. We then consider the implications for two more transitions to technology currently at earlier stages of emergence, namely road transport and steelmaking technologies.

Publication details
Theme(s)
The urgency of zero
Type(s)
Report
Author(s)
Hepburn, Cameron
Year(s)
2021
EEIST

Latest news

Oxford launches revised Offsetting Principles
Oxford launches revised Offsetting Principles

As part of their net zero strategies, many companies, organisations, cities, regions and financial institutions are relying on voluntary carbon credits to offset their residual emissions. But evidence continues to cast doubt on the integrity of ... Read more

Job Opening at ONZ: Impact and Operations Officer
Job Opening at ONZ: Impact and Operations Officer

Oxford Net Zero is looking for a highly organised and motivated Impact and Operations Officer to join its team. You will be working alongside the Programme Manager, Cath Ibbotson, and the Head of Policy and Partnerships, Kaya Axelsson to ... Read more

Net Zero Regulation Stocktake Publishes Results 
Net Zero Regulation Stocktake Publishes Results 

A new report published by Oxford Net Zero presents a comprehensive ‘stocktake’ of developments in net-zero regulation across the G20 in 2023. It focuses primarily on four regulatory domains: claims and financial products standards, disclosure, ... Read more

See more news and events