Energy and Environment

Technology learning in a small open economy—The systems, modelling and exploiting the learning effect

Martinsen, T.
Energy policy, Vol. 39, no. 5 (May 2011), 2361-2372
Publ. year
Publ. type
This paper reviews the characteristics of technology learning and discusses its application in energy system modelling in a global–local perspective. Its influence on the national energy system, exemplified by Norway, is investigated using a global and national Markal model. The dynamic nature of the learning system boundary and coupling between the national energy system and the global development and manufacturing system is elaborated. Some criteria important for modelling of spillover1 are suggested. Particularly, to ensure balance in global energy demand and supply and accurately reflect alternative global pathways spillover for all technologies as well as energy carrier cost/prices should be estimated under the same global scenario. The technology composition, CO2 emissions and system cost in Norway up to 2050 exhibit sensitivity to spillover. Moreover, spillover may reduce both CO2 emissions and total system cost. National energy system analysis of low carbon society should therefore consider technology development paths in global policy scenarios. Without the spillover from international deployment a domestic technology relies only on endogenous national learning. However, with high but realistic learning rates offshore floating wind may become cost-efficient even if initially deployed only in Norwegian niche markets.
Elsevier link