Learn 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 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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Energy technologies emit greenhouse gases with differing radiative efficiencies and atmospheric lifetimes [1–3]. Standard practice for evaluating technologies, which uses the global warming potential (GWP) to compare the integrated radiative forcing of emitted gases over a fixed time horizon [4], does not acknowledge the importance of a changing background(More)
The MIT Faculty has made this article openly available. Please share how this access benefits you. Your story matters. Abstract—If global photovoltaics (PV) deployment grows rapidly, the required input materials need to be supplied at an increasing rate. We quantify the effect of PV deployment levels on the scale of annual metals production. If a thin-film(More)