2018 journal article

Fuel prices, restructuring, and natural gas plant operations


By: M. Doyle* & H. Fell n

UN Sustainable Development Goal Categories
7. Affordable and Clean Energy (OpenAlex)
13. Climate Action (Web of Science)
Source: Web Of Science
Added: August 6, 2018

Switching from coal-fired to natural gas-fired generation and increasing the thermal efficiency (energy generated per unit of energy burned) of fossil fuel fired electricity generation plants have been identified as ways of achieving meaningful emission reductions. In this study, we examine the fuel-price responsiveness across gas plant technologies and across the market structures in which the plants operate. We find that there are significant differences in the generation and efficiency responses of gas plants to fuel prices across generation technologies and market structures. Specifically, our results indicate that, regardless of market structure, generation from natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) plants is responsive to both coal and gas prices, but that generation from simple cycle (NGSC) plants only respond to gas prices. On the other hand, with respect to efficiency, we generally find that only NGCC plants operating in deregulated regions show statistically significant efficiency improvements in response to coal price increases and that, generally, neither NGCC or NGSC plants, regardless of market structure, respond in any significant way to gas prices. Finally, using these parameter estimates, we calculate emissions savings from efficiency improvements and fuel-switching possibilities.