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Productivity Growth and Technical Change in the Generation of Electricity

Paul L. Joskow

Year: 1987
Volume: Volume 8
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol8-No1-2
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Abstract:
No student of the electric power industry and its regulation can help but be troubled by the industry's recent historical record on productivity and technical change. For many years the electric power industry was one of the leading sectors of the economy in terms of productivity growth and technological innovation. This is no longer true. By almost every measure, productivity growth and technical change have virtually ceased in the past decade (or even decreased, by some estimates).



Solving the Energy Problems in Developing Countries

Jose Goldemberg

Year: 1990
Volume: Volume 11
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol11-No1-4
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Abstract:
The industrialized nations have shown a remarkable ability to face the energy crisis of the 1970s by a combination of strategies which led in effect to the destruction of the OPEC cartel. The most important of these strategies was the reduction in oil imports made possible by the adoption of energy conserving technologies. In addition to that there was a remarkable shift from the use of oil to electricity which implies also a more efficient use of energy. While thermal cycles such as internal explosion motors used in automobiles convert only some 30 percent of the energy of the fuel into motive power in the wheels, electricity (once produced) can be converted into motive power with an efficiency of almost 100 percent. Of course the production of electricity from coal or oil goes also through a thermal cycle where energy is lost but the efficiency of conversion has been rising continuously, as shown in Figure 1. This shows the evolution of the thermal efficiency of British electrical generating stations (56 thermal power plants burning coal with a total generating capacity of 46.7 OW). In the period 1970-1985 the efficiency increased from 30 percent to 35 percent, equivalent in reality to an additional 10 mW of coal burning capacity.



The Impact of Climate Change on Nuclear Power Supply

Kristin Linnerud, Torben K. Mideksa and Gunnar S. Eskeland

Year: 2011
Volume: Volume 32
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol32-No1-6
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Abstract:
A warmer climate may result in lower thermal efficiency and reduced load--including shutdowns--in thermal power plants. Focusing on nuclear power plants, we use different European datasets and econometric strategies to identify these two supply-side effects. We find that a rise in temperature of 1rC reduces the supply of nuclear power by about 0.5% through its effect on thermal efficiency; during droughts and heat waves, the production loss may exceed 2.0% per degree Celsius because power plant cooling systems are constrained by physical laws, regulations and access to cooling water. As climate changes, one must consider measures to protect against and/or to adapt to these impacts.





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