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The political economy of technology support: Making decisions about carbon capture and storage and low carbon energy technologies

Asbjørn Torvanger, J Meadowcroft

This article reviews the political economy of government choice around technology support for the development and deployment of low carbon emission energy technologies, such as Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). It is concerned with how governments should allocate limited economic resources across abatement alternatives. In particular, it explores two inter-related questions. First, should government support focus on a narrow range of options or be distributed across many potential alternatives? Second, what criteria should be considered when determining which specific technologies to support? It presents a simple economic model with experience curves for CCS and renewable energy technologies to explore the lowest cost alternatives for meeting an emission abatement objective. It then explores a variety of economic and political factors that must be considered when governments make decisions about technology support.

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