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Growth, Upgrading And Excess Cost In China’S Electric Power Sector

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  • RAWSKI, Thomas G.

Abstract

China’s electricity industry has recorded immense achievements in many areas: growth, technical upgrading and innovation, improved reliability, and universal service. This record of excellence coexists with massive inefficiency. Despite China’s multiple cost advantages, the unit cost of producing, transmitting and delivering electricity is at least 30 percent higher in China than in the United States. Latent potential for cost reduction clusters in coal-fired generation that supplies about two-thirds of total output. New reforms that deepen the influence of market forces will strengthen financial pressures and thus increase the likelihood of achieving potential cost reductions, perhaps increasing the output and share of coal-fired thermal plants.

Suggested Citation

  • RAWSKI, Thomas G., 2017. "Growth, Upgrading And Excess Cost In China’S Electric Power Sector," Discussion paper series HIAS-E-46, Hitotsubashi Institute for Advanced Study, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hit:hiasdp:hias-e-46
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    File URL: http://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/rs/bitstream/10086/28673/1/070_hiasDP-E-46.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Demsetz, Harold, 1969. "Information and Efficiency: Another Viewpoint," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(1), pages 1-22, April.
    2. Rebecca Achee Thornton & Peter Thompson, 2001. "Learning from Experience and Learning from Others: An Exploration of Learning and Spillovers in Wartime Shipbuilding," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1350-1368, December.
    3. Kahrl, Fredrich & Williams, James H. & Hu, Junfeng, 2013. "The political economy of electricity dispatch reform in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 361-369.
    4. Nicholas R. Lardy, 2014. "Markets over Mao: The Rise of Private Business in China," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 6932.
    5. Kahrl, Fredrich & Williams, Jim & Jianhua, Ding & Junfeng, Hu, 2011. "Challenges to China's transition to a low carbon electricity system," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 4032-4041, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    China; electricity; reform; upgrading; coverage; cost; inefficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • L6 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O25 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Industrial Policy
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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