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Measuring the Ecological Efficiency of Thermal Power Plants: Evidence from Pakistan

Imran Qaiser and Theocharis Grigoriadis ()
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Imran Qaiser: Freie Universität Berlin, School of Business and Economics and the Institute of East European Studies, Berlin, Germany.Author-email:

Asian Development Review, 2020, vol. 37, issue 1, 159-184

Abstract: This paper assesses the environmental and economic efficiency of thermal plants operating on fossil fuels in Pakistan using methods based on data envelopment analysis. Using the material balance principle, we find that cost- and carbon-efficient points can only be obtained simultaneously by switching to gas. However, under an assumption of variable returns to scale, these points can still be obtained without this conversion through the application of best practices. Furthermore, about 26% of costs and about 34% of carbon emissions can be reduced without a switch to gas, but instead by using technically efficient inputs; this approach can also lead to a significant reduction in electricity prices and considerable environmental benefits. Power plants operating on residual fuel oil are significantly more technically efficient than plants operating on gas. Nonetheless, both types of plants have an equal share in forming the metafrontier as exhibited by the meta-technology ratio. There is a definite need to make plants more efficient by using the best possible combination of inputs and overhauling. Bootstrap results also suggest that further improvement in efficiency is possible.

Keywords: carbon dioxide emissions; cost efficiency; environmental efficiency; material balance principle (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B21 C61 D61 Q53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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