What induces clean energy transitions? When transitional dynamics exhibit strong path dependence, a temporary shock to input composition can trigger permanent structural change. The paper presented in this Research Seminar examines whether such dynamics characterize the U.S. electricity sector’s use of coal – the most climate-damaging fuel – across the 20th century. Exploiting local coal supply shocks driven by changing regional accessibility of subsurface coal, the author finds increasing imbalance in the coal composition of electricity capital lasting ten decades following a shock. A structural change model enables recovery of a key substitution parameter from reduced-form estimates and explores conditions for triggering sustained future clean energy transitions.


Kyle Meng

University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

Environmental, energy, and ecological problems have grown faster than their solutions. Economists have an important role to play to address these issues by using the latest science, rigorous methods and innovative policy solutions. The SWEEEP webinar series aims to convene the academic community to contribute to the scientific, economic, and policy discourses on important environmental and energy issues.

The seminar presentations are scheduled to last 60 minutes, with questions at the end.

The European Institute on Economics and the Environment is a partnership between Resources for the Future and Foundation CMCC. EIEE’s impartial economic and environmental research aims to facilitate the transition to a sustainable, inclusive society.
Contact: Professor Massimo Tavoni

The Energy Management research team at the Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM) combines research on economics, strategic management, technology innovation and energy policy in order to create and share knowledge that will help society move towards a low-carbon future.
Contact: Professor Sébastien Houde

The ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research is a leading German economic policy institute and a member of the Leibniz Association. ZEW's applied research aims to study and help design well-performing markets and institutions in Europe. In particular, it seeks to understand how to create a market framework that will enable the sustainable and efficient development of European economies.
Contact: Professor Sebastian Rausch

The Centre for Energy Policy and Economics (CEPE) was established in 1999 to complement the natural science and technical-oriented disciplines at ETH Zurich, by contributing to research and teaching in energy policy and economics.  Through rigorous application of modern empirical methods, the goal of CEPE is to make critical contributions to the design and evaluation of energy and climate policy instruments.
Contact: Professor Massimo Filippini

To participate, use this zoom registration link.


07.04.2021 | 15:00 - 16:00 (CET)

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