Market diffusion, technological learning, and cost-benefit dynamics of condensing gas boilers in the Netherlands

Martin Weiss, Lars Dittmar, Martin Junginger, Martin K. Patel, Kornelis Blok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


High costs often prevent the market diffusion of novel and efficient energy technologies. Monitoring cost and price decline for these technologies is thus important in order to establish effective energy policy. Here, we present experience curves and cost-benefit analyses for condensing gas boilers produced and sold in the Netherlands between 1981 and 2006. For the most dominant boiler type on the Dutch market, i.e., condensing gas combi boilers, we identify learning rates of 14±1% for the average price and 16±8% for the additional price relative to non-condensing devices. Economies of scale, competitive sourcing of boiler components, and improvements in boiler assembly are among the main drivers behind the observed price decline. The net present value of condensing gas combi boilers shows an overall increasing trend. Purchasing in 2006 a gas boiler of this type instead of a non-condensing device generates a net present value of 970 EUR (Euro) and realizes CO2 (carbon dioxide) emission savings at negative costs of -120 EUR per tonne CO2. We attribute two-thirds of the improvements in the cost-benefit performance of condensing gas combi boilers to technological learning and one-third to a combination of external effects and governmental policies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2962-2976
Number of pages15
JournalEnergy Policy
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Energy demand technologies
  • Experience curves analysis
  • Technological learning


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