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The Trade-Off between Economic and Environmental Objectives in Japan's Power Sector

The current concern about global warming has made it necessary for the electric power industry in Japan to reexamine its power generation mix plan. Past studies on the optimal power generation mix in Japan have only emphasized economic efficiency. Thermal power generation producing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions has a lower generation cost than hydropower and new energy sources. Hence, there is a trade-off between generation-cost minimization (the economic objective) and COz emission minimization (the environmental objective). This paper presents a quantitative study of the trade-off between these two objectives in the year 2000, and discusses the nature of the trade-off curve and the extent of power generation by source.

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Energy Specializations: Energy and the Environment – Environmental Market Design; Energy and the Environment – Policy and Regulation

JEL Codes: Q42: Alternative Energy Sources, Q54: Climate; Natural Disasters and Their Management; Global Warming, Q40: Energy: General, Q53: Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling, L94: Electric Utilities

Keywords: Electricity generation, Japan, Environmental protection, Greenhouse gases

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol12-No4-6

Published in Volume 12, Number 4 of the bi-monthly journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.


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