Technologies can be sorted into hardware components and soft components, such as the services needed to deploy hardware. While hardware costs have declined rapidly in many low-carbon technologies (e.g., photovoltaic systems, wind turbines), soft costs have advanced at a slower rate or even increased for some technologies (e.g., nuclear power plants). As a result, low carbon technology costs differ markedly across countries, creating a risk of slower decarbonization in places where low-carbon technology is more expensive. This project tracks trends in hardware and soft costs across a large number of energy and other technologies to better characterise the circumstances under which different rates of soft cost change are observed. Specific research questions and techniques can be tailored to student interests and prior knowledge in energy systems/management science/economics of innovation.
Data collection; data cleaning; database construction; hypothesis testing; data visualization; communication with industry experts;
This project offers an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in technology cost data collection, visualization, and analysis. Students will learn about reliable data sources, uncertainties, ways to address uncertainties, and do's and don'ts in visualising technology cost data.