Electric utilities, fuel use, and responsiveness to fuel prices
Daniel C. Matisoff,
Douglas Noonan and
Energy Economics, 2014, vol. 46, issue C, 445-452
This research tests the impact of changes in fuel price to explain fuel use by electric utilities. We employ a three-stage least squares model that explains changes in fuel use as a function of changes in three fuel prices. This model is repeated across sub-samples of data aggregated at the plant level and operating holding company level. We expect that plants and holding companies reduce fuel use when fuel prices rise. Several fuel substitution effects within and across plants and holding companies are demonstrated, as well as several frictions. At the plant level, higher prices of natural gas lead to less natural gas consumption, less coal consumption, and more fuel oil consumption. At the operating holding company level, results demonstrate the inelasticity of coal use and the increases of natural gas in response to higher coal prices. Subsamples demonstrate heterogeneity of results across different plants. Results emphasize that technological, market, and regulatory frictions may hinder the performance of energy policies.
Keywords: Fuel switching; Electric utilities; Utility regulation; Fuel use; Three-stage-least-squares (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D22 L94 Q40 Q41 Q48 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:46:y:2014:i:c:p:445-452
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