Dr Sugandha Srivastav, a Senior Research Fellow at INET Oxford, wins an award from the global, independent research network CESifo for her work on how to incentivise investment in solar power technologies.

Dr Sugandha Srivastav won the Distinguished CESifo Affiliate Award in Energy and Climate Economics for her paper, 'Bringing Breakthrough Technologies to Market: Risk Reduction for Solar Power'. The prize is awarded to a young economist for the scientific originality, policy relevance and quality of exposition of the paper they present at CESifo’s annual conference. CESifo is comprised of a global community of more than 1800 economists from 44 countries, making it one of the largest networks for economic research.

As well as her position as a Senior Research Fellow at INET Oxford, Dr Srivastav is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer in Environmental Economics at the University of Oxford. Her primary research explores the drivers of clean technology innovation – particularly how early-stage clean energy technologies can be financed and commercialised.

In her award-winning paper, Dr Srivastav explains how many new technologies will be needed to reach net zero and that those with limited prior commercial history face challenges in coming to market. She explores how advanced market commitments, such as feed-in tariffs, helped commercialise utility-scale solar in the United Kingdom. She finds that the feed-in tariff played a pivotal role because it helped reduce revenue risk for new solar projects. Using an econometric strategy that leverages selection around the policy’s cut-off, she estimates that at least one-fifth of all solar in the UK can be attributed to the policy at a cost of less than £100/tCO2. The paper emphasizes the importance of risk reduction policies for early-stage technologies but cautions against using them for more mature sectors.