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Technology choice for reducing NOx emissions: An empirical study of Chinese power plants


  • Ma, Teng
  • Takeuchi, Kenji


This study investigates the choices of denitration technology in the Chinese thermal power sector. Using a multinomial logit model of the choices among 1135 boilers in thermal power plants operating in China in 2013, we analyze how the choices were influenced by government policies, the stringency of national standards, and subsidies for using specific technology. The results are as follows. First, China's 12th Five-year Plan might make it more attractive for plants to choose the cheapest denitration technology among the three options examined in this study. Second, technology choices differed significantly by region before the 12th Five-year Plan period. These differences have disappeared, perhaps due to the economic development across all regions of China. Third, electricity price subsidies offered to plants that use denitration equipment might affect their technology choice. These results suggests that plants might choose the cheapest technology available, in order to lower investment costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Ma, Teng & Takeuchi, Kenji, 2017. "Technology choice for reducing NOx emissions: An empirical study of Chinese power plants," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 362-376.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:102:y:2017:i:c:p:362-376
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2016.12.043

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Zhang, Huiming & Zheng, Yu & Ozturk, U. Aytun & Li, Shanjun, 2016. "The impact of subsidies on overcapacity: A comparison of wind and solar energy companies in China," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 821-827.
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    7. David Popp, 2010. "Exploring Links Between Innovation and Diffusion: Adoption of NO X Control Technologies at US Coal-fired Power Plants," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 45(3), pages 319-352, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Haijun Zhao & Weichun Ma & Hongjia Dong & Ping Jiang, 2017. "Analysis of Co-Effects on Air Pollutants and CO 2 Emissions Generated by End-of-Pipe Measures of Pollution Control in China’s Coal-Fired Power Plants," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(4), pages 1-19, March.

    More about this item


    Technology choice; NOx emissions; China; Thermal power sector;

    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation


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