Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Webinar: How Solar Energy Became Cheap: A Model for Low-Carbon Innovation

Friday, April 24th 12PM PST
Please Join CREATE and Author Gregory Nemet

How did solar become inexpensive?  And why did it take so long?

As a 2017 Andrew Carnegie Fellow I had the opportunity to dive deeply into these questions, drawing on new data sets, analyses, and interviewing 75 individuals in 18 countries.  The concept of National Innovation Systems provides a theoretical structure for this assessment and helps explain that PV’s success has been the result of distinct contributions mainly by the US, Japan, Germany, Australia, and China—in that sequence.  Flows of knowledge from one country to another—often embodied in equipment, and also as tacit knowledge in the heads of internationally mobile individuals—have been central to solar’s progress.  One payoff from understanding the reasons for solar’s success is that it can serve as a model for other low-carbon technologies.  I focus on direct air carbon capture and small nuclear reactors.  However other technologies would have to progress much faster than PV to be helpful for climate change.  Possible approaches for accelerating innovation include: dynamic R&D foci, codification of knowledge, public procurement, robust markets, enhancing knowledge mobility, and addressing political economy considerations.

To register email Gabrielle Temple at: gabrielle.temple@canyons.edu