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Competition and Regulation as means against CO2 emissions – experience from US fossil fuel power
Over the last decade, the electrical power sector in the U.S. has been influenced by two major trends. On
the supply side plummeting gas prices induced by the so-called shale gas revolution have created incentives for power producers to increase gas usage or even switched investments in new capacity from coal to gas.
Whereas the effects of increased gas usage seem straightforward for technology-specific gas plants, we observe that in the US combined coal and gas-fired plants often coexist locally and may facilitate the potential fuel switch from coal to gas. Additionally, regulatory standards, both on the national and supranational level, have been tightened for CO2 emission standards in order to trigger less carbon-intensive energy production. This paper analyzes the impacts of stricter regulation on CO2 emission performance over time by applying data envelopment techniques that account for multiple inputs and outputs. We solve our model using different returns to scale to account effects due to differences in state sizes. Bootstrapping helps to perform better statistical inference, and productivity is measured with a global malmquist index. We conclude that a combination of enhanced competition and regulatory provisions has increased environmental performance at the state level.
Christian Growitsch is Senior University Lecturer at the Department of Economics at the University of Hamburg. Previously, he was Managing Director of the Hamburg Institute for International Economics from September 2014 to September 2015. Earlier, he served as Director of Applied Research and Member of the Management Board of the Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne, where he taught as Associate Professor (Privatdozent) of Economics. Christian studied business administration, economics and social sciences in Hamburg and Lüneburg and pursued post-graduate studies in economics at the Universities of Lüneburg and Cambridge. In May 2010 he qualified as a professor at the University of Halle-Wittenberg. From 2007 to 2010 he headed the Department of Energy Markets and Energy Regulation at the Scientific Institute for Infrastructure and Communication Services (WIK). The focus of his economic research and politico-economic consultation presently lies is in the field of applied micro economics.
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