Historical costs of coal-fired electricity and implications for the future
AbstractWe study the cost of coal-fired electricity in the United States between 1882 and 2006 by decomposing it in terms of the price of coal, transportation cost, energy density, thermal efficiency, plant construction cost, interest rate, capacity factor, and operations and maintenance cost. The dominant determinants of cost have been the price of coal and plant construction cost. The price of coal appears to fluctuate more or less randomly while the construction cost follows long-term trends, decreasing from 1902 to 1970, increasing from 1970 to 1990, and leveling off since then. Our analysis emphasizes the importance of using long time series and comparing electricity generation technologies using decomposed total costs, rather than costs of single components like capital. By taking this approach we find that the history of coal-fired electricity suggests there is a fluctuating floor to its future costs, which is determined by coal prices. Even if construction costs resumed a decreasing trend, the cost of coal-based electricity would drop for a while but eventually be determined by the price of coal, which fluctuates while showing no long-term trend.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.
Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
Issue (Month): 6 (June)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol
Coal Electricity Historical cost;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Christensen, Laurits R & Greene, William H, 1976. "Economies of Scale in U.S. Electric Power Generation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 655-76, August.
- Hisnanick, John J. & Kymn, Kern O., 1999. "Modeling economies of scale: the case of US electric power companies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 225-237, June.
- Nemet, Gregory F., 2006. "Beyond the learning curve: factors influencing cost reductions in photovoltaics," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(17), pages 3218-3232, November.
- John F. Muth, 1986. "Search Theory and the Manufacturing Progress Function," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(8), pages 948-962, August.
- Gollop, Frank M & Roberts, Mark J, 1983. "Environmental Regulations and Productivity Growth: The Case of Fossil-Fueled Electric Power Generation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 654-74, August.
- McCabe, Mark J, 1996. "Principals, Agents, and the Learning Curve: The Case of Steam-Electric Power Plant Design and Construction," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(4), pages 357-75, December.
- Nelson, Randy A & Wohar, Mark E, 1983. "Regulation, Scale Economies, and Productivity in Steam-Electric Generation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(1), pages 57-79, February.
- Cowing, Thomas G, 1974. "Technical Change and Scale Economies in an Engineering Production Function: The Case of Steam Electric Power," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 135-52, December.
- Gavin Sinclair & Steven Klepper & Wesley Cohen, 2000. "What's Experience Got to Do With It? Sources of Cost Reduction in a Large Specialty Chemicals Producer," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(1), pages 28-45, January.
- Koomey, Jonathan & Hultman, Nathan E., 2007. "A reactor-level analysis of busbar costs for US nuclear plants, 1970-2005," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 5630-5642, November.
- Barry Ball & Bertram Ehmann & John Foster & Craig Froome & Ove Hoegh-Guldberg & Paul Meredith & Lynette Molyneaux & Tapan Saha & Liam Wagner, 2011. "Delivering a Competitive Australian Power System. Part 1: Australia’s Global Position," Energy Economics and Management Group Working Papers 13, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wendy Shamier).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.