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Why Are Power Plants in India Less Efficient Than Power Plants in the United States?

Author

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  • Hei Sing (Ron) Chan
  • Maureen L. Cropper
  • Kabir Malik

Abstract

India's coal-fired generating capacity doubled between 1990 and 2010 and currently accounts for 70 percent of electricity produced. Despite this, thermal efficiency at state-owned coal-fired power plants in India is significantly lower than at plants in the United States. When matched on age and capacity, heat input per kWh was 8 percent higher at Indian plants between 1997 and 2009. This can only partly be explained by the lower heat content of Indian coal. Electricity sector restructuring in the United States improved thermal efficiency at investor-owned plants; however, electricity sector restructuring in India has yet to improve thermal efficiency at state-owned coal-fired power plants.

Suggested Citation

  • Hei Sing (Ron) Chan & Maureen L. Cropper & Kabir Malik, 2014. "Why Are Power Plants in India Less Efficient Than Power Plants in the United States?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 586-590, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:5:p:586-90
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.5.586
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Chan, H. Ron & Fell, Harrison & Lange, Ian & Li, Shanjun, 2017. "Efficiency and environmental impacts of electricity restructuring on coal-fired power plants," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 1-18.
    2. Kabir Malik & Maureen Cropper & Alexander Limonov & Anoop Singh, 2011. "Estimating the Impact of Restructuring on Electricity Generation Efficiency: The Case of the Indian Thermal Power Sector," NBER Working Papers 17383, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ridhima Gupta & Martino Pelli, 2020. "Electrification and Cooking Fuel Choice in Rural India," Cahiers de recherche 01-2020, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    2. Rakesh Kumar Jain & Surender Kumar, 2018. "Shadow price of CO2 emissions in Indian thermal power sector," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 20(4), pages 879-902, October.
    3. Nicholas Ryan, 2020. "Contract Enforcement and Productive Efficiency: Evidence From the Bidding and Renegotiation of Power Contracts in India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(2), pages 383-424, March.
    4. Sushama Murty & Resham Nagpal, "undated". "Measuring output-based technical efficiency of Indian coal-based thermal power plants: A by-production approach," Centre for International Trade and Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi Discussion Papers 18-07, Centre for International Trade and Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.
    5. Nicholas Ryan, 2019. "Contract Enforcement and Productive Efficiency: Evidence from the Bidding and Renegotiation of Power Contracts in India," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2164, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    6. Jitendra Narayan Biswal & Kamalakanta Muduli & Suchismita Satapathy & Devendra K. Yadav, 2019. "A TISM based study of SSCM enablers: an Indian coal- fired thermal power plant perspective," International Journal of System Assurance Engineering and Management, Springer;The Society for Reliability, Engineering Quality and Operations Management (SREQOM),India, and Division of Operation and Maintenance, Lulea University of Technology, Sweden, vol. 10(1), pages 126-141, February.
    7. Stefan Seifert, 2015. "Measuring Productivity When Technologies Are Heterogeneous: A Semi-Parametric Approach for Electricity Generation," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1526, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    8. Charles N. Mock & Rachel Nugent & Olive Kobusingye & Kirk R. Smith, 2017. "Disease Control Priorities, Third Edition," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 28576, June.
    9. Hunt Allcott & Allan Collard-Wexler & Stephen D. O'Connell, 2016. "How Do Electricity Shortages Affect Industry? Evidence from India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(3), pages 587-624, March.
    10. Ghani, Ejaz & Goswami, Arti Grover & Kerr, William R., 2014. "Spatial dynamics of electricity usage in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7055, The World Bank.
    11. Nicholas Ryan, 2019. "Contract Enforcement and Productive Efficiency: Evidence from the Bidding and Renegotiation of Power Contracts in India," NBER Working Papers 25547, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Sudhir Mahadeo Bobde & Makoto Tanaka, 2020. "Structural Reforms and Technical Efficiency in the Indian Electricity Distribution Sector," Asia-Pacific Journal of Operational Research (APJOR), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 37(02), pages 1-36, March.
    13. Kabir Malik, Maureen Cropper, Alexander Limonov and Anoop Singh, 2015. "The Impact of Electricity Sector Restructuring on Coal-fired Power Plants in India," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4).
    14. Stephen O'Connell & Allan Collard-Wexler & Hunt Allcott, 2015. "How Do Electricity Shortages A," 2015 Meeting Papers 159, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Nicholas Ryan, 2019. "Contract Enforcement and Productive Efficiency: Evidence from the Bidding and Renegotiation of Power Contracts in India," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2164R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jul 2019.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • L32 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Public Enterprises; Public-Private Enterprises
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • L98 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Government Policy
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy

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