Disruptive Digitalization 4 Decarbonization

Bio & PublicationsElena Verdolini

Principal Investigator of 2D4D. Environmental and Innovation Economist with a background in Political Science. Outdoorsy. Mom

About Elena



Professor of Political Economy at the Law Department, University of Brescia. Head of the Sustainable Innovation Unit at the RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment, Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change. Lead Author of the IPCC, AR6, WGIII.

Elena holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Pavia, a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Arts in International Studies from the University of Washington, Seattle and a PhD in Economics and Finance of the Public Administration from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan

Her main research interest is in applied analysis, with a focus on the dynamics of innovation, technology transfer, green growth, and the economic impacts of environmental and energy policies. Elena has been involved in several internationally funded research projects (such as INNOPATHS, CD-LINKS, ENTRACTE and ICARUS).

At UNIBS, she teaches a course on Political Economy, one on Innovation Economics and one on Markets and Competition Law. You can find her publications and her seminar & conferences here below.




Pahle, M., Schaeffer R., Pachauri, S., Eom, J., Awasthy, A. Chen, W. Di Maria, C., Jiang, K., He, C., Portugal-Pereira J., Safonov, G., Verdolini E. (2021)
“The crucial role of complementarity, transparency and adaptability for designing energy policies for sustainable development”, Energy Policy 159, 112662
doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2021.112662

Meng J., R. Way, Verdolini E, Anadon Diaz L. (2021)
“Comparing expert elicitation and model-based probabilistic technology cost forecasts for the energy transition”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118 (27)
doi: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1917165118

Verdolini E, Sovacool B., Drummond P. (2021)
“Channeling diverse innovation pressures to support European sustainability transitions”, Environmental Research Letters, 16, 061001
doi: https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/abfe2a

Verdolini E, Anadon Diaz L. (2021)
“Looking forward and back”, Nature Energy 6:454–455
doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41560-021-00828-3

Peñasco, C., Anadón, L.D., Verdolini, E. (2021)
“Systematic review of the outcomes and trade-offs of ten types of decarbonization policy instruments”, Nature Climate Change
doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-020-00971-x

Grané A., Salini S., Verdolini E. (2021)
“Robust multivariate analysis for mixed-type data: novel algorithm and its practical application in socio-economic research”, Socio-Economic Planning Science 73
doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seps.2020.100907

Skoczkowski T., Verdolini E., Bielecki S., Kochański M., Korczak K., Węglarz A. (2020)
“Technology innovation system analysis of decarbonisation options in the EU steel industry”, Energy 212:1, 118688 

Galeotti M., Salini S., Verdolini E. (2020)
“Measuring Environmental Policy Stringency: Approaches, Validity, and Impact on Environmental Innovation and Energy Efficiency”, Energy Policy 136
doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2019.111052

Conti C., Mancusi M.L., Sanna-Randaccio F., Sestini R., Verdolini E. (2018)
“Transition Towards a Green Economy in Europe: Innovation and Knowledge Integration in the Renewable Energy Sector”, Research Policy 47(10):1996-2009

Verdolini, E., Vona F., Popp D. (2018)
“Bridging the gap: do fast reacting fossil technologies facilitate renewable energy diffusion?”, Energy Policy 116:242–256

Verdolini, E., Anadón L. D., Baker E., Bosetti V., Aleluia Reis L. (2018)
“The Future Prospects of Energy Technologies: Insights from Expert Elicitations”, Review of Environmental Economics and Policy 12(1):133-153

Galeotti M., Rubashkina Y., Salini S., Verdolini E. (2018)
“Environmental Policy Performance and its Determinants: Application of a Three-level Random Intercept Model”, Energy Policy 114:134–144

Verdolini, E., Bak C., Ruet J., Venkatachalam A. (2018)
“Innovative green-technology SMEs as an opportunity to promote financial de-risking,” Economics Discussion Papers 2018-8, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW). 

Verdolini, E. (2018)
“Environmental policy and innovation: A sectoral analysis,” Papeles de Energía FUNCAS, nr. 5 Junio 2018.

Witajewki J, Verdolini E., Tavoni M. (2017)
“Directed Technological Change and Energy Efficiency Improvements”, Energy Economics 68(S1):1-168 

Verdolini, E., Bak C, Ruet J., Anbumozhi V. (2017)
“Innovative green-technology SMEs as an opportunity to promote financial de-risking”, G20 Insights.

Verdolini E. and Bosetti V. (2017)
“Environmental Policy and the International Diffusion of Green and Brown Technologies” Environmental and Resource Economics 66: 497–536. 

Dasgupta S., De Cian E., Verdolini E. (2017)
“The Political Economy of Energy Innovation”, in THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF CLEAN ENERGY TRANSITIONS, ed. D. Arent, C. Arndt, Mackay Miller, Finn Tarp, and Owen Zinaman, Oxford University Press.

Nemet G., Anadon L. D., Verdolini E. (2016)
“Quantifying the effects of expert selection and elicitation design on experts’ confidence in their judgments about future energy technologies”, Risk Analysis. doi:10.1111/risa.12604

Career break
A 5-month break due to maternity leave

Witajewki J., Verdolini E., Tavoni M. (2015)
“Bending the Learning Curve”, Energy Economics 52(1):S86-S99

Virdis M. R. et al. (2015).
“Pathways to deep decarbonization in Italy”, SDSN – IDDRI

Bosetti V., Cattaneo, C., Verdolini, E., (2015)
“Migration of Skilled Workers and Innovation: A European Perspective”, Journal of International Economics, 96(2):227-434 

Rubashkina, Y., Galeotti, M., Verdolini, E., (2015)
“Environmental Regulation and Competitiveness: Empirical Evidence on the Porter Hypothesis from European Manufacturing Sectors”, Energy Policy 83:288–300

Verdolini E., Anadon Diaz L., Liu J., Nemet G. (2015)
“The effects of expert selection, elicitation design and R&D assumptions on experts’ estimates of the future costs of photovoltaics”, Energy Policy 80:233-243 

Voigt S., De Cian E., Schymura M., Verdolini E. (2014),
“Energy Intensity Developments in 40 Major Economies: Structural Change or Technology Improvement?”, Energy Economics 41(C): 47-62

Career break
A 5-month break due to maternity leave

Fiorese G., Catenacci M., Bosetti V., Verdolini E. (2013),
“The Power of Biomass: Experts Disclose the Potential for Success of Bioenergy Technologies”, Energy Policy. 65(C): 94-114

Diaz Anadon L., Nemet G., Verdolini E. (2013),
“The Future Costs of Nuclear Power using Multiple Expert Elicitations: Effects of RD&D and Elicitation Design”, Environmental Research Letters 8(2013), 034020

Catenacci M., Verdolini E., Bosetti B., Fiorese G. (2013),
“Going Electric: Expert Survey on the Future of Battery Technologies for Electric Vehicles”, Energy Policy 61: 403–413

Fiorese G., Catenacci M., Verdolini E., Bosetti V. (2013),
“Advanced Biofuels: Future Perspectives from an Expert Elicitation Survey”, Energy Policy 56: 293-311

Verdolini E., Johnstone N., Haščič I. (2012),
“Empirical Study of Energy Efficiency and Carbon Intensity in Fossil Power Generation”, in Energy and Climate Policy: Bending the Technological Trajectory, OECD, Paris

Bosetti V., Catenacci M., Fiorese G., Verdolini E. (2012),
“The Future Prospect of PV and CSP Solar Technologies: An Expert Elicitation Survey”, Energy Policy 49(11): 308–317

Lanzi E., Verdolini E., Haščič I. (2011),
“Efficiency Improving Fossil Fuel Technologies for Electricity Generation: Data Selection and Trends”, Energy Policy 39(11): 7000-7014

Lanza A., Verdolini E. (2011),
“The Role of R&D+i in the Energy Sector”, in I. Galarraga , M. González-Eguino, A. Markandya (eds.) Handbook Of Sustainable Energy, Edward Elgar Publishing

Verdolini E., Galeotti M. (2011),
“At Home and Abroad: An Empirical Analysis of Innovation and Diffusion in Energy Technologies”, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 61(2): 119-134

Carraro C., De Cian E., Nicita L., Massetti M., Verdolini E. (2010),
“Environmental Policy and Technical Change: A Survey”, International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, 4: 163-219


Seminars & Conferences


L’Europa a zero emissioni nette nel 2050: Mind the gap!, Giornata di Studi: L’Europa e il climate change: giornata di studi, Palazzo Arese Borromeo, Cesano Maderno, 10 September 2020

Keynote: Climate Change: Risks, Costs and challenges., Path for the Public Finances 2020: Budgeting for Climate Change, Dublin Castle, 28 February 2020


Domestic Climate Policy and International Competitiveness, COP25, Japan Pavilion, 11 December 2019

EU Technology Transition for industry – the role of research and innovation programmes, COP25 Side Event, COP25, Madrid, EU Pavillion, 12 December 2019

Winter is not coming: Storie di un clima che cambia, Festival dello sviluppo sostenibile, Università degli Studi di Milano 28 May 2019

Quando mezzo grado fa la differenza, Bienale Democrazia di Torino, 29 March 2019

Implications of the IPCC Special Report SR1.5 for Members of the Board of Directors, “Dinner with the climate expert” organized by ASSOGESTIONI, 10 December 2018

Gli Effetti Distributivi delle Politiche Climatiche: un Commento, Cariplo Foundation Seminar, 14 November 2018

Cambia il clima, cambia il modo di raccontarlo. Innovare la comunicazione sul climate change, Festival della Scienza di Genova, 1 November 2018

Decarbonization Innovation: What it could bring? How to make it work?, High Level Workshop “R&I contribution to the strategy for long term EU greenhouse gas emissions reduction”, European Commission, Brussels, 28 June 2018

Transition towards a green economy in Europe: Innovation and knowledge integration in the renewable energy sector, 2018 Academic Workshop: Developments in Energy Economics, Barcelona, 16 February 2018

Threshold effects and directed technical change in energy innovation, 8th Annual Economics for Energy Workshop: “Economic challenges for energy”, Barcelona, 16 February 2018

Transition towards a green economy in Europe: Innovation and knowledge integration in the renewable energy sector, Seminar of the Institute d’Economia de Barcelona, Barcelona, 23 November 2017

Innovation effects of environmental policy, CARISMA Workshop: “Climate change mitigation in the EU: from research to practice”, Stockholm Environment Institute, Stockholm 27 March 2017

Generating growth from innovation for the low carbon economy, T20 Meeting, Berlin, 27 February 2017

Decarbonization of the energy sector, First meeting of the High-level Panel of the European decarbonisation pathways initiative, European Commission, Bruxelles, 21 October 2016

Stimulating innovation: insights from the ENTRACTE Project, ENTRACTE Final Meeting: European Climate Policy – Insights and Interactions, Brussels, 25 September 2015

The impact of policy uncertainty on innovation in the wind industry: evidence from EU countries, Resource for the Future CECE Seminar, Washington DC, 06 August 2015

Economics of Innovation: Spillovers, T20 Seminar, Mercator Institute, Berlin, 19 May 2015

Disruptive Digitalization 4 Decarbonization

At a glance

Elena Verdolini, PhD
Host institution
Law Department, Università degli Studi di Brescia
Co-host institution
RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment, Fondazione Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici
October 2020 - September 2025
Current activities
I finally completed the selection of the research team. We are now busy with the initial phase of research: data collection, empirical design and building the research network. Stay tuned! And remember you can follow us on twitter @2D4D_ERC or reach us @ info@2d4d.eu