Type of Coal and Possible Occurrence of Congestion Related to Eco-Technology Innovation in U.S. Electric Power Industry


Coal-fired power plants generate approximately 32% of electricity in the United States. The electric generators fueled by coal are a major source of air pollution. There are two types of coal mainly used by the coal-fired power plants are called “bituminous” and “subbituminous”. Almost 48% of the coal produced is bituminous, while about 44% is subbituminous. It is widely known that the coal conversion produces undesirable outputs, such as CO2 and other greenhouse gases, which cause the climate change and various pollutions. Because of such various pollution issues, this study is interested in the performance analysis of U.S. coal-fired power plants by the types of coal, the type of disposability and a possible occurrence of congestion, or eco-technology innovation. This study discusses an identification method for a possible occurrence of congestion in U.S. coal-fired power plants by using DEA environmental assessment. The congestion, which is a main methodology concern of this study, is classified into two categories: Undesirable Congestion (UC: indicating a transmission limit) and Desirable Congestion (DC: indicating eco-technology innovation). The identification of UC is important to avoid a cost increase and a shortage of electricity, while investigating of DC can be effectively used to reduce the amount of air pollution. This study finds that UC may occur on most of power plants. In contract, DC may occur on a limited number of power plants. This study also suggests that power plants operated by bituminous coal outperform those with sub-bituminous coal.

Author Information
Daiki Wakayama, Komazawa University, Japan
Toshiyuki Sueyoshi, New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology, United States
Mika Goto, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: IICSEEHawaii2017
Stream: Environmental Sustainability & Environmental Management: Atmosphere and Air

This paper is part of the IICSEEHawaii2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon