Results 11 - 20 of 2071
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[en] This paper studies different concentration and dominance measures using structural indexes used to initially screen the competitive situation in a market. The Nordic and Swedish electricity markets are used as the empirical cases. Market concentration issues in the Nordic electricity market in general and in Sweden in particular have been, at least in initial screenings, approached by the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI). This article uses an alternative measure to HHI, which is based on market shares of the two largest firms in the market. The results shows that only the Swedish wholesale market has a firm that can be regarded as dominant, but only during very short periods. The results from a hypothetical merger between the second and third largest company in the Swedish wholesale market shows that when the dominant position of the largest firm is reduced, by increasing the size of the second largest firm, the threshold value indicates that competition actually will increase (contradicting to the HHI).
[en] It is generally agreed that it should be the polluters that pay. A corollary to this principle is that it is those who benefit from e g nuclear electricity generation that should pay all the future costs for decommissioning and waste management. In order for such a corollary to be implemented in practice it is necessary that costs can be estimated, that appropriate funds can be accumulated, and that money can be made available at the time when it is needed. This is the principle underlying the recent (2006) recommendation of the European Union Commission on financial resources for decommissioning. The Commission states that a segregated fund with appropriate controls on use is the preferred option for all nuclear installations, and a clear recommendation to this effect is made for new installations. Furthermore, as regards the estimation of decommissioning costs, the Commission recommends a prudent calculation of costs based on appropriate risk management criteria and external supervision. The commission finds that experience shows that exchange of information between national experts concerning the various approaches to and financial arrangements for decommissioning and waste management is an excellent way of facilitating a common response to safety challenges. However, stringent requirements on assessing and securing assets for liabilities have been in force since many years through the various national implementations of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and the International Accounting Standards (IAS). Thus, precise calculations are to be presented each year (except for ongoing court cases), and in case estimation is difficult, various scenarios should be considered and a weighed average presented. In Sweden, the Law of Finance (SFS 2006:647) regulates how the costs for decommissioning and waste management are to be calculated and paid. A fee is levied on the use of nuclear electricity and accumulated in the waste fund. In addition, the nuclear companies are obligated to provide securities for future fees (to cover the eventuality of an early shutdown) as well as for possible underestimations in the assessments. (authors)
[en] National sector responsibility legislation places specific obligations on Swedish sector authorities to handle environmental issues within their sector. Because of this responsibility, there is a need to map environmental impacts from sectors and to identify key problems and strategies to reduce impacts in each sector. Agriculture and energy are two sectors causing severe environmental impacts, and these are therefore interesting as case studies. Employing a systems perspective when exploring impacts and options for their reduction ensures that problems are not simply shifted in time or space or between problems, but are considered in a holistic manner. Using this perspective, indirect effects such as changes upstream or downstream of the production chain, as well as among consumers, can be considered when seeking strategies to reduce environmental impacts in a sector. A method to investigate environmental impacts from a sector was developed and tested in the cases of agriculture and energy (Papers I and II). The method was based on environmentally extended Input-Output Analysis (IOA) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). IOA-data from Swedish Environmental Accounts were used as the starting point for the inventory. Such data provide information on direct and indirect impacts from the sector. To capture those aspects not included in the Environmental Accounts, the Swedish Environmental Quality Objectives were subsequently used as a checklist, and information on the missing aspects was obtained from literature. For further processing of the data, characterisation and weighting methods from LCA methodology were used to identify hotspots, i.e. the most important problems. The results showed that biodiversity, greenhouse effect, eutrophication, use of non-renewable resources and toxicity were potential hotspots in the agriculture sector. In the energy sector, the hotspots were air quality, greenhouse effect, use of non-renewable resources and toxicity. Analysis of sector policies (Paper III) showed that both sectors are focusing on some of the hotspots identified, but other important problems are not receiving sufficient attention. In the agriculture sector, the focus is principally on biodiversity and toxicity, while the energy sector mainly focuses on issues of climate change and non-renewable resources. A second hybrid IOA-LCA method (Energy Analysis Programme, EAP) was employed to study direct and indirect use of energy carriers in households (Papers IV and V). Through a combination of IOA and process data, the energy intensity (energy per monetary unit, e.g. MJ/SEK) of a large number of goods and services was calculated. When combined with information on household expenditure, these data provided information on total household use of fuels and electricity and provided insights into spending patterns that could result in lower energy intensity. A final study investigated the significance of reducing food losses as a strategy to reduce environmental impacts from the food sector (Paper VI). The results from the studies with a consumer perspective were used to identify how consumers can contribute to reducing environmental impacts in the two sectors investigated. For agriculture, consumers can help reduce impacts through reduced consumption of animal products, while for energy, reduced energy use in households is important, as is further substitution of fossil fuels
[en] This paper explores the possibilities for reducing future energy use for eating to a sustainable level. A backcasting approach is used to generate an image of the future where energy use for eating is 60% lower in 2050 than in 2000. The currently known potential to reduce energy use in the food supply system for producing, transporting, storing, cooking and eating food is explored and described in terms of a number of distinct changes that are numbered consecutively and presented in both a quantitative and qualitative way. Sweden is used as the case and all data regarding energy use apply for Swedish conditions. An exercise like this illustrates the possible outcome of taking sustainability seriously. If sustainability is to be achieved, some images of the future are needed so that potential targets can be identified. This paper does not present forecasts, but illustrates the kind of changes needed in order to achieve sustainable energy use in the food system.
[en] The power companies biannual turnover and the continuing high prices this autumn are two trends pointing towards a record high profit for the power industry. This also means a solid profit for the Norwegian state and many local governments on county or municipality level. Charts illustrate the governments' share of the increased profit
[en] This paper reports a study designed to test, evaluate and compare micro-meteorological methods for determining the particle number flux above forest canopies. Half-hour average particle number fluxes above a representative broad-leaved forest in Denmark derived using eddy covariance range from -7 x 107 m-2 s-1 (1st percentile) to 5 x 107 m-2 s-1 (99th percentile), and have a median value of -1.6 x 106 m-2 s-1. The statistical uncertainties associated with the particle number flux estimates are larger than those for momentum fluxes and imply that in this data set approximately half of the particle number fluxes are not statistically different to zero. Particle number fluxes from relaxed eddy accumulation (REA) and eddy covariance are highly correlated and of almost identical magnitude. Flux estimates from the co-spectral and dissipation methods are also correlated with those from eddy covariance but exhibit higher absolute magnitude of fluxes. - Number fluxes of ultra-fine particles over a forest computed using four micro-meteorological techniques are highly correlated but vary in magnitude
[en] Full text: There has previously been a series of severe accidents and other events around the world, which has lead to health effects and severe consequences to the environment as a result of ionising radiation. Some of the most severe accidents have been related to explosions or fires in nuclear installations and high dose levels due to orphan sources. Even though the Norwegian nuclear industry is limited, it has since the Chernobyl accident in 1986 been Norwegian policy to have a particular emergency preparedness towards nuclear or radiological events. In order to maintain an effective emergency preparedness with limited resources, it is necessary to have a good understanding of possible scenarios and related consequences. Norwegian authorities are therefore continuously assessing nuclear and radiological threats. Norwegian emergency preparedness has to a large extent been directed towards scenarios where an accident at a foreign nuclear installation leads to radioactive volumes of air passing over Norway, causing considerable deposition over large geographical areas. Norway is neighbouring the Kola Peninsula, where there was a considerable nuclear development during the cold war. Due to their close vicinity to the Norwegian border and poor conditions at some of the sites, possible accidents at nuclear installations on the Kola Peninsula in Russia have been emphasised in Norwegian emergency preparedness. However, Norwegian and international efforts have contributed to improve the conditions at several sites on the Kola Peninsula. Improved safety and physical protection at these sites have reduced the risk for cross-border contamination. Furthermore, extensive decommissioning and dismantlement of aged nuclear submarines have reduced the number of nuclear objects of particular concern. Meanwhile, the latest changes in the international security environment have made one consider a new set of scenarios, involving e.g. massive attacks on nuclear installations. Aging nuclear installations, proliferation of nuclear weaponry and an international nuclear power renaissance have also contributed to change the Norwegian perception of nuclear and radiological threats. The consequences of the tsunami in East Asia in December 2004 has lead to an increased understanding of the authorities' responsibilities concerning Norwegian citizens and interests abroad, also with respect to nuclear and radiological events that will not bear any impact on Norwegian territory. In particular, the increasing attention towards the economic potential in the Russian High North, implies new challenges regarding an increased Norwegian establishment in an area with still many problems concerning radioactivity.Finally, awareness is also directed towards future climate changes and challenges related to nuclear safety and radioactive contamination. (author)