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Productivity Growth and Technical Change in the Generation of Electricity

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).

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Energy Specializations: Electricity – Generation Technologies; Electricity – Policy and Regulation

JEL Codes: Q41: Energy: Demand and Supply; Prices, Q42: Alternative Energy Sources, D24: Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity, Q35: Hydrocarbon Resources, Q54: Climate; Natural Disasters and Their Management; Global Warming, L94: Electric Utilities

Keywords: Electricity generation, Productivity growth, Technology change, Thermal efficiency

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol8-No1-2

Published in Volume 8, Number 1 of the bi-monthly journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.


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