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[en] Our willingness to embrace climate change policies depends on our perception of their benefits and costs. Evaluation of these costs and benefits requires careful economic analysis. Yet the standard tools for such assessment - computable general equilibrium (CGE) models - are inadequate on several grounds. Their underlying theory suffers from well-known logical difficulties; in general, their equilibria may be neither unique, stable, nor efficient. Moreover, real-world phenomena such as increasing returns to scale, learning, and technological innovation are neglected in CGE models. These phenomena make the resulting equilibria in the models inefficient; in the real world they can lock society into sub-optimal technology choices. They introduce uncertainty and path-dependence, annihilating the concept of a single efficient allocation produced by the unfettered market. Yet conventional economics assesses the cost of policies solely on the basis of their departure from a purportedly efficient equilibrium - ignoring deeper structural changes that are often decisive in practice. New socioeconomic theories and models are emerging that allow for bounded rationality, the limiting and enabling character of institutions, technological change, and the complexities and uncertainties in economic evolution. Meanwhile, existing models should be modified to better reflect real-world phenomena and to abandon unfounded assumptions about the inherent ''inefficiencies'' of government intervention in the market. (author)
[en] A simulation's disaggregated assessment of a transmission upgrade across different stakeholders and cost/benefit categories reveals how market-network dynamics can produce counterintuitive results
[en] This paper shows that to achieve grid level of reliability with wind solar and storage units alone is impossibly expensive so practical designs have always incorporated standby generation of some sort or other. This paper describes a simulation technique that enables a cost minimal, balanced hybrid system design. (author)
[en] The cost-benefit study of Nordhaus (1994) is representative for the neoclassical approach towards global warming. Nordhaus found that no substantial emission cuts are warranted. Most of his critics have concentrated on the issue of discounting and demanded that a lower discount rate should be applied. These criticisms first miss the point and second lead to ethically dubious, inconsistent conclusions and inefficient policy choices. They miss the point because the real problem of Nordhaus's methodology is his implicit underlying assumption of perfect substitutability between natural and other forms of capital. Given the validity of this assumption, lowering the rate of discount is inconsistent with current savings behaviour, is ethically dubious because future generations will be much richer than the current one anyway, and is inefficient because scarce financial resources are channelled into emissions abatement that exhibits rates of return far inferior to alternative public investments. Any call for aggressive emission abatement must therefore directly attack the perfect substitutability assumption of neoclassical economics. The real disagreement is about whether consumption growth can compensate for environmental degradation caused by global warming. Discounting is not the issue, but substitutability is. (author)
[en] This paper provides an economic perspective of adaptation to climate change. The paper specifically examines the role of markets and government in efficient adaptation responses. For adaptations to be efficient, the benefits from following adaptations must exceed the costs. For private market goods, market actors will follow this principle in their own interest. For public goods, governments must take on this responsibility. Governments must also be careful to design institutions that encourage efficiency or they could inadvertently increase the damages from climate change. Finally, although in a few cases actors must anticipate climate changes far into the future, generally it is best to learn and then act with respect to adaptation
[en] Coastal flood defense systems can consist of multiple lines of defense. In case of a system with a front and a rear defense (e.g. a storm surge barrier and levees), the front defense can improve the reliability of the rear defense by reducing the load on this rear defense. This paper develops a framework in order to assess whether including the influence of such a load reduction influences the economically optimal safety targets of both defenses. The economic optimization is carried out using two approaches: a simplified method developed to explore the behavior of the economic optimization with a front and rear defense, and a numerical framework geared towards practical applications. The numerical framework provides more flexibility in defining risk, cost and damage functions, and emphasizes on the applicability and tractability of the necessary steps from an engineering perspective. Both approaches are used in a hypothetical case study in order to quantify the effect of including a load reduction on the economically optimal safety targets. The results indicate that if a front defense can create a significant risk reduction in a cost efficient manner, more efficient economically optimal safety targets can be found by including the load reduction. - Highlights: • In a coastal system, a front defense improves the reliability of the rear defense. • This interaction is analytically incorporated in a simplified economic optimization. • For more complex (realistic) economic optimization, a numerical framework is proposed. • Including the interaction of a coastal system improves flood prevention investments.
[en] Process improvement is that part of process improvement, which drives beneficial change in process performance. Improvement in results can be accomplished in many ways. One way is by improving the ways by which the results are being measured. Results can often be improved by running the process with the planned resources and executing the tasks as planned. Failures are more often the result of people not running the process as planned - they take short cuts, make mistakes, and don't take action when necessary. From organizational perspective, Performance Indicators can offer powerful insights into the status of the Company activity and processes functioning. They enable consistent tracking of objectives and strategic alignment, definition of success and critical success factors, as well as visibility into launch plans, performance, and overall quality and timeliness. Successful performance measurement system adheres to the following main principles: Measure only what is important; Focus on customer needs; Involve employees in the design and implementation of the measurement system. Performance measurement is defined as a process of evaluation of company activities performance relative to a defined goal. The basic concept of performance measurement involves: Planning and meeting operating goals; Detecting deviations from planned levels of performance and restoring performance to the planned levels, or Achieving new levels of performance. Performance measurements are very important, because they can be used for: Control - Measurements help to reduce variation; Self-assessment - Measurements can be used to assess how well the process is doing, including improvements that have been made; Continuous improvement - Measurements can be used for identification of the process trends and to determine process efficiency and effectiveness, as well as opportunities for improvement; Management assessment - without measurements there is no way to be certain that the company meeting the objectives or that the company is being effective and efficient. The Performance measurement system is composed of three elements: Performance criteria - relative elements used for comparison at the performance evaluation; Performance indicators - specific values of the performance criteria over some specified time period, or 'numerical or quantitative indices that show how well each objective is being met'. Performance standards - accepted levels of performance for each criterion. The purpose of this report is to present an approach for measurement of business effectiveness of Consultancy Company, operating in energy sector. (author).
[en] Deliberately small nuclear reactors are making their way on the market. They are proposed by manufacturers worldwide (SMART, 4S, SSTAR, mPower, Nuscale, etc...). The idea of an economic attractiveness of Small and Medium sized Reactors (SMR) is counterintuitive, due to the loss of Economy of Scale on a capital intensive investment. Nevertheless a broader understanding of capital costs drivers has shaped a new concept of Economy of Multiples, that applies on multiple NPP deployment. It relies on learning accumulation to mitigate construction costs of later NPP units; design modularization to exploit the benefits of serial production; co-siting economies to decrease the incidence of fixed and site-related costs. We assume that smaller NPP size fosters design modularization and simplifications, with related cost savings. While the effect of modularization on construction costs has been modeled, the estimation of design-based savings may be the upmost arbitrary and controversial, but the underlying assumption is that the lower the plant size, the higher may be the Design cost-saving factor. This work aims to analyze at what extent and conditions the Economy of Multiples holds against the Economy of Scale, when NPP of different sizes are deployed in multiple units, considering that the Economy of Multiples smoothes its benefits with the increase in number of units installed and that the maximum size of the sites is a limit to its application on large reactors (LR). The limit case-study of Very Small Reactors (VSR) is investigated, representing a massive NPP deployment and a huge loss of Economy of Scale. Our analysis is performed by mean of INCAS (Integrated model for the Competitiveness Analysis of Small-medium modular reactors) Polimi's proprietary simulation code. Our results show that the Economy of Multiples holds as a competitive edge for Medium and Small Reactors even when nuclear site may host multiple LR: 8-9% design cost saving is able to grant the same economic performance of a fleet of LR, even with higher construction cost estimates. On the contrary, VSR need to achieve more stretching degree of design simplification and related cost savings (up to 15%) in order to be competitive with LR