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Does environmental regulation affect energy efficiency in China's thermal power generation? Empirical evidence from a slacks-based DEA model

Gong-Bing Bi, Wen Song, Peng Zhou () and Liang Liang

Energy Policy, 2014, vol. 66, issue C, 537-546

Abstract: Data envelopment analysis (DEA) has gained much popularity in performance measurement of power industry. This paper presents a slack-based measure approach to investigating the relationship between fossil fuel consumption and the environmental regulation of China's thermal power generation. We first calculate the total-factor energy efficiency without considering environmental constraints. An environmental performance indicator is proposed through decomposing the total-factor energy efficiency. The proposed approach is then employed to examine whether environmental regulation affects the energy efficiency of China's thermal power generation. We find that the environmental efficiency plays a significant role in affecting energy performance of China's thermal generation sector. Decreasing the discharge of major pollutants can improve both energy performance and environmental efficiency. Besides, we also have three main findings: (1) The energy efficiency and environmental efficiency were relatively low. (2) The energy and environmental efficiency scores show great variations among provinces. (3) Both energy efficiency and environmental efficiency are of obvious geographical characteristics. According to our findings, we suggest some policy implications.

Keywords: Data envelopment analysis; Energy efficiency; Environmental efficiency (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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