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Breakthrough Renewables and the Green Paradox

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We show how a fossil fuel monopoly responds to a carbon-free substitute becoming available at some uncertain point in the future if demand is isoelastic and variable extraction costs are zero but upfront exploration investment costs have to be made. Before the breakthrough, oil reserves are depleted too rapidly; afterwards, the oil depletion rate drops and the oil price jumps up by discrete amounts. Subsidizing green R&D to speed up the breakthrough speeds up oil extraction before the breakthrough, but more oil is left in situ as exploration investment is lower. The latter can offset the Green Paradox effect.
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Keywords: GREEN PARADOX; GREEN R&D; REGIME SHIFT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2018

This article was made available online on 15 January 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Breakthrough Renewables and the Green Paradox".

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  • As one of the world's oldest professional journals in public finance, founded in 1884, FinanzArchiv (FA) publishes original work from all fields of public economics which are of interest to an international readership, e.g. taxation, public debt, public goods, public choice, federalism, market failure, social policy, and the welfare state. Special emphasis is on high-quality theoretical and empirical papers on current policy issues.

    FA is a peer-reviewed journal commited to a prompt turnaround of submissions.

    FA is listed in the Social Science Citation Index (SSCI), in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences, in Econ Lit, in the Journal of Economic Literature, in IDEAS and RePEc and in the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences.

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