The efficiency of both electricity, and combined electricity and heat production from conventional thermal power plants improved steadily between 1990 and 2005. This was due to the closure of old inefficient plants, improvements in existing technologies and the installation of new, more efficient technologies, often combined with a switch from coal power plants to more efficient combined cycle gas-turbines. This trend is expected to continue in the future. However, the rapid growth in fossil-fuel based electricity production outweighs some of the environmental benefits of the efficiency improvements.
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