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[en] Expansion of offshore wind power plays a significant role in the energy policies of many EU countries. However, offshore wind farms create visual disamenities. These disamenities can be reduced by siting wind farms at larger distances from the coast - and accepting higher costs per kWh produced. In this paper willingness to pay for reducing the visual disamenities from future offshore wind farms is elicited using the economic valuation method Choice Experiments. The valuation scenario comprises the location of 720 offshore wind turbines (equivalent to 3600 MW) in farms at distances equal to: 12, 18 or 50 km from the shore, relative to an 8 km baseline. Using a fixed effect logit model average willingness to pay amounts were estimated as: 46, 96 and 122 Euros/household/year for having the wind farms located at 12, 18 and 50 km from the coast as opposed to 8 km. The results also reveal that WTP deviates significantly depending on the age of respondents and their experiences with offshore wind farms. (author)
[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)