Jessika E. Trancik

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We study a simple model for the evolution of the cost (or more generally the performance) of a technology or production process. The technology can be decomposed into n components, each of which interacts with a cluster of d - 1 other components. Innovation occurs through a series of trial-and-error events, each of which consists of randomly changing the(More)
Forecasting technological progress is of great interest to engineers, policy makers, and private investors. Several models have been proposed for predicting technological improvement, but how well do these models perform? An early hypothesis made by Theodore Wright in 1936 is that cost decreases as a power law of cumulative production. An alternative(More)
We report on the synthesis of thin, transparent, and highly catalytic carbon nanotube films. Nanotubes catalyze the reduction of triiodide, a reaction that is important for the dye-sensitized solar cell, with a charge-transfer resistance as measured by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy that decreases with increasing film thickness. Moreover, the(More)
Moore’s Law has created a popular perception of exponential progress in information technology. But is the progress of IT really exponential? In this paper we examine long time series of data documenting progress in information technology gathered by Koh and Magee (2006). We analyze six different historical trends of progress for several technologies(More)
Understanding the factors driving innovation in energy technologies is of critical importance to mitigating climate change and addressing other energy-related global challenges. Low levels of innovation, measured in terms of energy patent filings, were noted in the 1980s and 90s as an issue of concern and were attributed to limited investment in public and(More)
We study the costs of coal-fired electricity in the United States between 1882 and 2006 by decomposing it in terms of the price of coal, transportation costs, energy density, thermal efficiency, plant construction cost, interest rate, and capacity factor. The dominant determinants of costs at present are the price of coal and plant construction cost. The(More)
Over the next few decades, severe cuts in emissions from energy will be required to meet global climate-change mitigation goals. These emission reductions imply a major shift toward low-carbon energy technologies, and the economic cost and technical feasibility of mitigation are therefore highly dependent upon the future performance of energy technologies.(More)
Wind and solar industries have grown rapidly in recent years but they still supply only a small fraction of global electricity. The continued growth of these industries to levels that significantly contribute to climate changemitigation will depend onwhether they can compete against alternatives that provide high-value energy on demand. Energy storage can(More)