In recent years, the coal intensity of electricity generation and its change rate over time has varied significantly across coal-fired power plants in China. This paper decomposes the coal intensity change into four components: technological catch-up, technological progress, change in capital-coal ratio, and change in labor-coal ratio. We find that technological catch-up is the most important factor in decreasing mean coal intensity in the plants between 2009 and 2012. It is also the main driver of heterogeneity in coal intensity changes across different groups of the plants.
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