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The Fall of Coal: Joint Impacts of Fuel Prices and Renewables on Generation and Emissions

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  • Harrison Fell
  • Daniel T. Kaffine

Abstract

Since 2007, US coal-fired electricity generation has declined by a stunning 25 percent. Detailed daily unit-level data is used to examine the joint impact of natural gas prices and wind generation on coal-fired generation and emissions, with a focus on the interaction between gas prices and wind. This interaction is found to be significant. Marginal responses of coal-fired generation to natural gas prices (wind) in 2013 were larger, sometimes much larger, than the counterfactual with 2008 wind generation (gas prices). Additionally, these factors jointly account for the vast majority of the observed decline in generation and emissions.

Suggested Citation

  • Harrison Fell & Daniel T. Kaffine, 2018. "The Fall of Coal: Joint Impacts of Fuel Prices and Renewables on Generation and Emissions," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 90-116, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:10:y:2018:i:2:p:90-116
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20150321
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • L95 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Gas Utilities; Pipelines; Water Utilities
    • Q35 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Hydrocarbon Resources
    • Q38 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy (includes OPEC Policy)
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling

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