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The Impact of Energy Prices on Technology Choice in the United States Steel Industry

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  • Gale A. Boyd
  • Stephen H. Karlson
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    Abstract

    In the last 30 years, U.S. steel producers have replaced their aging open hearth steel furnaces with basic oxygen (BOF) or large electric are furnaces (LEF). This choice of technology creates the opportunity to substitute electricity for fossil fuels. We extend earlier research to investigate whether energy prices affect this type of technology adoption. The econometric model uses the "seemingly unrelated Tobit" method to capture the effects of the industry's experience with both technologies, technical change, and potential cost reductions, as well as energy prices, on adoption. Men we include the prices of electricity and coking coal as explanatory variables, the four energy price coefficients have the signs predicted by the law of demand, but the magnitude of the coefficients is such that the non-price terms are more important, e.g. a 50% increase in electricity prices would delay LEF adoption by only 12 days. Our results suggest that the adoption of LEF represents a form of major process technical change (factor biased - electricity using), rather than a price-induced technological innovation.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by International Association for Energy Economics in its journal The Energy Journal.

    Volume (Year): Volume 14 (1993)
    Issue (Month): Number 2 ()
    Pages: 47-56

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    Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:1993v14-02-a03

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    Cited by:
    1. Adam Jaffe & Richard Newell & Robert Stavins, 2002. "Environmental Policy and Technological Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(1), pages 41-70, June.
    2. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00343702 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Löfgren, Åsa & Millock, Katrin & Nauges, Céline, 2007. "Using Ex Post Data to Estimate the Hurdle Rate of Abatement Investments - An Application to the Swedish Pulp and Paper Industry and Energy Sector," Working Papers in Economics 249, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    4. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00261523 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Schumacher, Katja & Sands, Ronald D., 2007. "Where are the industrial technologies in energy-economy models? An innovative CGE approach for steel production in Germany," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 799-825, July.
    6. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00272041 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Löfgren, Åsa & Millock, Katrin & Nauges, Céline, 2008. "The effect of uncertainty on pollution abatement investments: Measuring hurdle rates for Swedish industry," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 475-491, December.
    8. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00343702 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. David Popp & Richard G. Newell & Adam B. Jaffe, 2009. "Energy, the Environment, and Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 14832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Jaffe, Adam B. & Newell, Richard G. & Stavins, Robert N., 2003. "Chapter 11 Technological change and the environment," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 461-516 Elsevier.
    11. Georgina Moreno & David Sunding, 2001. "Factor Price Risk and the Diffusion of Conservation Technology: Evidence from the Water Industry," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2001-36, Claremont Colleges.

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