EPRG 0601

Louis Coulomb, Karsten Neuhoff

Learning Curves and Changing Product Attributes: the Case of Wind Turbines

EPRG 0601 Non-Technical Summary | PDF

Abstract: The heuristic concept of learning curves describes cost reductions as a function of cumulative production. A study of the Liberty shipbuilders suggested that product quality and production scale are other relevant factors that affect costs. Significant changes of attributes of a technology must be corrected when assessing the impact of learning-by-doing. We use an engineering-based model to capture the cost changes of wind turbines that can be attributed to changes in turbine size. We estimate the learning curve and turbine size parameters using more than 1500 price points from 1991 to 2003. The fit between model and empirical data confirms the concept.

Keywords: Learning curve, Turbine scale, Wind turbines

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