Results 1 - 10 of 363
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[en] In order to overcome the perverse incentives of excessive maintenance reductions and insufficient network investments arising with incentive regulation of electricity distribution companies, regulators throughout Europe have started regulating service quality. In this paper, we explore the impact of incorporating customers' willingness-to-pay for service quality in benchmarking models on cost efficiency of distribution networks. Therefore, we examine the case of Norway, which features this approach to service quality regulation. We use the data envelopment analysis technique to analyse the effectiveness of such regulatory instruments. Moreover, we discuss the extent to which this indirect regulatory instrument motivates a socially desired service quality level. The results indicate that internalising external or social cost of service quality does not seem to have played an important role in improving cost efficiency in Norwegian distribution utilities.
[en] The first predecessor of the present Nuclear and Radiation Safety Authority of Finland (STUK) was founded in 1958 to regulate the use of radiation and to study artificial radiation in the environment. In those days radiation was used only in medical and industrial applications and there were also first indications that atmospheric nuclear tests might cause significant exposure to radiation, especially in the Northern Finland. Focusing activities of the new Institute of Radiation Physics, as STUK was called in those days, to these two activities laid foundation for the operations culture where regulators and scientists work together to achieve the optimum level of safety. Since those early days STUK has continued this operations model and developed it to include also other activities. Today STUK is the national regulatory body for both radiation protection and nuclear safety, but at the same time it is a research organisation and an expert body, supporting for instance the national emergency preparedness for nuclear and radiation accidents. This has brought great synergy benefits and given STUK an opportunity to use the limited national resources in the most effective way. This paper describes the main functions of STUK in its fifty years' operation and highlights the arguments favouring to keep regulatory and research activities as close to each other as possible. In today's world nuclear safety, radiation protection, and radiological preparedness and security issues are so closely connected with each other that organisations dealing with them should have comprehensive knowledge about all of them. (author)
[en] This paper presents the trends in occupational radiation exposure in Finland. The statistics were collected from national Dose Register and analysed using SPSS. The Finnish Dose Register includes exposure data for all workers engaged in work involving the use of radiation, in the use of nuclear energy and in work causing exposure from natural radiation. The data covers a period of over 40 years. The number of workers subject to individual monitoring working in radiation practices and nuclear energy has increased during this period. The collective doses in industry and in veterinary medicine have followed the same trend. In research and the use of X-rays in health care the collective doses initially increased from the beginning of the 1970s until the late 1990s and then decreased. During the same period the collective doses significantly decreased in the use of other radiation sources in health care. In the use of nuclear energy, collective doses have varied from year to year, mostly depending on service and maintenance works undertaken in nuclear power plants. Although the collective doses have increased in some sectors, individual annual doses of over 20 mSv do not often exist anymore and the largest individual doses have been reduced in most sectors. The number of air crew has grown during the last few years. Earlier there was only one Finnish airline notifying doses for the Dose Register, whereas nowadays there are six Finnish airlines. Because doses caused by cosmic radiation are mainly proportional to flying hours, the collective dose of air crew has increased. The dose distributions in different sectors vary considerably: in the use of radiation and nuclear energy the dose distributions are close to exponential curves, whereas for air crew it resembles almost normal distribution. (author)
[en] Meteorology of the planetary boundary layer (PBL) is to large extent determined by turbulent processes. Those processes and their interaction with surface properties are not well understood. The processes over heterogeneous land surfaces are understood even less. To progress in the understanding simultaneous observations with a network of meteorological stations are needed. A joint project between Norwegian and South African research foundations funded a micrometeorological experiment in the Highveld area of the South Africa (MMEH). The experiment has been organized to collect data from 5 automatic meteorological stations placed at 7 km to 23 km separation distances from each other. The data were collected continuously over 2 years. This paper presents the idea, the theoretical background and the organization of the MMEH.
[en] Environmental problems in the energy system often originate from everyday activities and choices. Everyday activities in the home are part of the private sphere that can be contested in relation to energy policies. This article discusses the public-private divide in energy policies and how Swedish municipal energy consultants understand the divide. By analyzing the actions of energy consultants and their efforts to influence households, as well as how households perceive this guidance, I will discuss the public-private discourse in relation to energy policy and how this discourse can be a restriction for the energy consultants to reach their full potential. The consultants found it problematic to discuss behavioral issues because they did not know how to relate to people's everyday life activities without intruding on private and personal matters. For the households tailored information and feedback was not perceived as the consultant trespassing in the private sphere. Instead, the householders highlight the possibilities of such mapping. Lessoned learned from Sweden is that state subsidies to local energy consultants is a good way to reach households, but that they need to develop their methods and use more tailored information.
[en] The purpose of this paper is to analyze Swedish households' willingness to increase their daily efforts to save electricity. The analysis builds on a broad theoretical framework, which embraces both economic and norm-based motivations in explaining household behavior. The paper pays particular attention to the role of information about the availability of different behavioral changes that can be undertaken at the household level. The empirical results are based on a postal survey that was sent out to 1200 Swedish households, and the econometric analysis is carried out within a so-called ordered probit framework. Our results indicate that costs, environmental attitudes and social interactions are all important determinants of electricity saving activities within Swedish households. We tested the hypothesis that information about available savings measures that is presented in a more concrete and specific way is more likely to affect (stated) behavior than is more general information, and the data collected support this notion. The paper ends by discussing some implications of these results for the design of future informative policy measures in the energy-efficiency field.
[en] We estimate firms' probability of technological adoption based on a firm level panel data set from four major sectors in Sweden between 2000 and 2003. Technological adoption is measured by environmental protection investments (EPI), and we focus particularly on differences between the decisions to adopt end of pipe solutions and clean technologies. We find that there seem to be different drivers for investments in end of pipe solutions and clean technologies, in particular we show that the probability of a firm investing in clean technologies to reduce emissions to air increases if the firm has expenditures for R and D related to environmental protection (green R and D), while price on energy is important for the investment in end of pipe solutions. Furthermore, our results indicate complementarity between the two types of technologies.
[en] This paper investigates an empirical econometric panel data model in order to test deregulation and regional market structure effects on district heating prices in Finland for period 1996-2002. The data was collected from 76 district heating firms throughout Finland. Special emphasis is placed on the modeling of policy-induced competition, which began in year 1999, regional based fuel selection, local market structures, and distribution network sharing effects. The results imply that the local structures of energy production and sales have an important role to play in the formation of market prices and that the price lowering effects of energy market deregulation are permanent. (author)
[en] Finnish farmers' role as energy producers is small compared to their role as energy resource owners. Since climate and energy policy in Finland continues favoring large-scale energy visions, additional investment support for agriculture will stay modest. To utilize fully the energy potential in farms, we analyze the farmers' decision-making environment. First, we present an overview of the Finnish energy policy and economy and their effect on farms (the top-down perspective). Then we analyze the drivers behind the bioenergy decisions of farms in general and in the Oulu region, located in Northern Finland (the bottom-up perspective). There is weak policy coherence between national and regional energy efforts. Strong pressure is placed on farmers to improve their business and marketing knowledge, innovation and financial abilities, education level, and networking skills. In the Oulu region, bioenergy forerunners can be divided in three different groups - investors, entrepreneurs and hobbyists - that have different levels of commitment to their energy businesses. This further stresses the importance of getting quality business services from numerous service providers. (author)