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[en] Distributed generation units are desirable from an environmental point of view but also have an impact on the costs of electricity grids at the distribution and transmission level. Therefore, investment planning has to consider all benefits and costs of DG to build DG sources at sites where they are economically efficient. Unfortunately, this is not an easy task in an unbundled industry where distribution and generation of electricity are not planned by one single institution. For this reason, this article analyses possible policy options for giving incentives to distributed generation and focuses on the long-term investment signals related to DG.
[en] The photovoltaic energy sector is rapidly expanding and technological specification for PV has improved dramatically in the last two decades. This paper sketches the current state of the art and drafts three alternative scenarios for the future, in terms of costs, market penetration and environmental performance. According to these scenarios, if economic incentives are supported long enough into the next ten to twenty years, PV looks set for a rosy future, and is likely to play a significant role in the future energy mix, while at the same time contributing to reduce the environmental impact of electricity supply. (author)
[en] Pico hydro power is a renewable energy system which has the potential to provide millions of rural people world-wide with a cheap, sustainable source of electricity. The development of new, cost-reducing approaches, including local manufacture and implementation in developing countries, has increased the accessibility of this technology to large numbers of people. The new approaches are investigated and some of the present constraints to wider adoption of this technology are analysed. (Author)
[en] The boom in Taiwan's economy is forcing it to accelerate power generation plans and adopt new strategies. Apart from two 1000MW nuclear units due to be commissioned at the end of the century, Taipower plans to use thermal power plant to meet most of its long-term demand growth. (U.K.)
[en] At a recent symposium, the economic costs of nuclear power were examined in four lectures which considered; (1) The performance of different types, size and ages of nuclear power plants. (2) The comparison between coal and nuclear power costs based on the principle of net effective cash. (3) The capital requirements of a nuclear programme. (4) The comparative costs, now and in the future, of coal-fired and nuclear plants. It is concluded that uncertainties seem to get greater rather than smaller with time probably due to the high and fluctuating world inflation rates and the great uncertainty about world economic performance introduced by the politicising of world oil supplies. (UK)
[en] This paper analyzes the feasibility of solar chimney power plants as an environmentally acceptable energy source for small settlements and islands of countries in the Mediterranean region. For the purpose of these analyses, two characteristic geographic locations (Split and Dubrovnik) in Croatia were chosen and simplified model for calculation of produced electric power output is also developed. These locations possess typical characteristics of the Mediterranean climate. The solar characteristics of the chosen geographic locations are shown along with characteristic meteorological data. A solar chimney (SC) power plant with a chimney height of 550 m and a collector roof diameter of 1250 m would produce 2.8-6.2 MW of power. The average annual electric power production of this SC power plant would range between 4.9 and 8.9 GWh/year, but in reality from 5.0 to 6.0 GWh/year in average. An approximate costs analysis, which included a total investment estimate, was performed. The levelized electricity cost was also calculated. It is found that the price of produced electric energy by solar chimney power plant in Mediterranean region is considerably higher compared to the other power sources. (author)
[en] A recent investigation examined the economic potential for electricity generation in the U.K. using large slow-speed two-stroke diesel engines of around 40MW unit output. Large diesels are a high efficiency technology, resilient to fuel quality, and with high reliability. Economic analysis compared diesels with other generating options for a range of fuel scenarios and discount rates. Merit order potential and total costs were also assessed. The diesels show superior economic qualities, both in terms of investment criteria and high merit position. They are economically comparable with combined cycle gas turbines, but combined cycle plant is essentially large-scale, whereas diesels in 40 MW units sizes can provide small-scale, high-efficiency local generation. Slow-speed diesels represent a sound investment for electricity supply. Diesels in local power stations in southern England would increase supply security and diversity. They are compatible with a cautious investment approach and are appropriate for the new market conditions in electricity supply. (author)
[en] The year 1984 marked the most impressive advance in the use of nuclear power since its beginning on a large scale in the early 1970s. Thirty-four new nuclear units with a total capacity of 31 800 MW(e) were connected to grids in thirteen countries. Installed worldwide capacity increased by 17%, displacing over 40 million tonnes of oil equivalent of fossil fuels. As much as half of this increment was shared between two countries; the USA and France. Yet there was a 30% shortfall in installed units and capacity as compared with the original plans. Units already under construction will ensure the continuation of high growth rates of nuclear energy till 1990, but paucity of new orders and previous cancellations will severely restrain further expansion of nuclear power in the last decade of the century. The situation in various countries is discussed. Tables show (a) nuclear power capacity for 32 countries, actual 1984, estimated 1990; and (b) nuclear share of electricity produced in 1984, for 17 countries. (author)
[en] This paper proposes new regulation for nuclear power reactors aimed at increasing their safety. We begin by describing how limited liability leads to risk-loving behaviour in nuclear power companies and unsafe nuclear power reactors. By reviewing current regulatory regimes, we show that this issue is not being sufficiently addressed today. Therefore, we evaluate five regulatory instruments: (1) safety regulation, (2) minimum equity requirements, (3) mandatory insurance, (4) risk-sharing pools, and (5) catastrophe bonds. We conclude that any of these instruments either cannot be recommended in its pure form or is infeasible in reality. We therefore propose a new approach that, in its core, consists of a two-stage procedure. In the first stage, capital markets assess the risk stemming from each nuclear reactor via catastrophe bonds. In the second step, the regulator uses this private risk assessment and intervenes by charging an actuarially fair premium in the form of a Pigouvian risk tax. Society ultimately acts as an explicit insurer for nuclear risk and is, on average, fairly compensated for the risk it is taking over. - Highlights: ► Limited liability leads to excessive risk-taking in nuclear power companies. ► Current regulation does not address this issue sufficiently. ► We evaluate five regulatory instruments and explain their shortcomings. ► We propose a market-based nuclear risk tax as a new regulatory instrument.