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Did the 2022 global energy crisis accelerate the diffusion of low-carbon technologies?
World Bank
2024.05.21
This paper develops measures of the diffusion of a comprehensive range of low-carbon technologies in 35 countries from 2019 to 2022 using text analysis of job postings and earnings calls transcripts. It documents a rapid acceleration in the diffusion of low-carbon technologies in 2022, driven by technologies related to renewable energy, vehicles, thermal performance, and electrical generation and storage. Rapid growth occurred in three quarters of the countries studied and 228 of 300 subnational regions, although was fastest in Europe. Hiring for roles related to low-carbon technologies in these 35 countries doubled between 2019 and the end of 2022, for example. It studies the role of the global energy crisis in triggering this accelerated technology diffusion, focusing on 16 mainly advanced economies. It finds that establishments in countries that had a higher pre-crisis dependence on imports of natural gas, and were thus more exposed to the price shock, differentially increased hiring for low-carbon technology related roles from March 2022 onwards. Within more exposed countries, establishments with a higher pre-crisis energy intensity also saw a differential increase in hiring relative to less energy intensive ones.