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Efficiency and Environmental Impacts of Electricity Restructuring on Coal-Fired Power Plants

  • H. Ron Chan
  • Harrison Fell
  • Ian A. Lange
  • Shanjun Li

We investigate the impacts of electricity market restructuring on fuel efficiency, utilization and, new to this area, cost of coal purchases among coal-fired power plants using a panel data set from 1991 to 2005. Our study focuses exclusively on coal-fired power plants and uses panel data covering several years after implementation of restructuring. The estimation compares how investor-owned (IOs) plants in states with restructuring changed their behavior relative to IOs in states without. Our analysis finds that restructuring led to: (1) a two percent improvement in fuel efficiency for IOs, (2) a ten percent decrease in unit cost of heat input, and (3) a lower capacity factor even after adjusting for cross-plant generation re-allocation due to cost reductions. Based on these estimates, back-of-the-envelope calculations find that restructuring has led to about 6.5 million dollars in annual cost savings or nearly 12 percent of operating expenses and up to a 7.6 percent emissions reduction per plant.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4160.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4160
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  1. Ali Hortaçsu & Steven L. Puller, 2008. "Understanding strategic bidding in multi-unit auctions: a case study of the Texas electricity spot market," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(1), pages 86-114.
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  8. Lange Ian & Bellas Allen S, 2007. "The 1990 Clean Air Act and the Implicit Price of Sulfur in Coal," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-25, August.
  9. Newbery, David M & Pollitt, Michael G, 1997. "The Restructuring and Privatization of Britain's CEGB--Was It Worth It?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 269-303, September.
  10. Mansur, Erin T, 2007. "Upstream Competition and Vertical Integration in Electricity Markets," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(1), pages 125-56, February.
  11. 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.
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