Over the years, several low-carbon technologies have been promoted through policy decisions such as incentives, subsidies and/or taxes. And this is expected to increase based on the aggressive commitments by the local/national governments for supporting climate change mitigation.
Clearly, robust policy decisions are becoming even more important for efficient climate change mitigation.
What are robust policy decisions? They are policy decisions that promote the most efficient low-carbon technologies. This is very important considering the negative consequences of sub-optimal policy decisions. For example, policy decisions that promote a less efficient technology essentially take away resources from a more efficient technology.
Robust policy decisions require high quality data. In this case, high quality data refers to systematic prioritization (ranking) data for the different low-carbon technologies.
The primary requirement for the systematic prioritization analysis is the availability of practical effectiveness data for the different low-carbon technologies. The practical effectiveness of a low-carbon technology can be evaluated based on its ability to address the challenges associated with climate change mitigation. These challenges stem from important related issues such as the enormous size of the problem, stringent time-line requirements, competition from other important problems, potential unknowns, etc.
There are a large number of publications that provide detailed technical information about the technology solutions. However, they do not systematically relate the characteristics of the technologies to their ability to address the associated challenges. In other words, these publications do not provide the information needed for a practical effectiveness comparison between the solutions.
And that leads to the gap:
Unavailable practical effectiveness comparison data --> inability to undertake a systematic prioritization analysis --> sub-optimal policy decisions --> inefficient climate change mitigation
A systematic analysis on the following topics is needed for addressing the above important gap:
a) Critical challenges associated with climate change mitigation
b) Comparison of the technologies in terms of their abilities to address the critical challenges
c) Prioritization of the technologies based on this comparison