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[en] Highlights: • Electricity contract choice is explored using unique panel data. • I find substantial state dependence in electricity contract choice. • The response to prices is small. • Transaction costs and behavioral biases may explain these results. - Abstract: I explore how households switch between fixed-price and variable-price electricity contracts in response to variations in price and temperature, conditional on previous contract choice. Using panel data with roughly 54,000 Swedish households, a dynamic probit model is estimated. The results suggest that the choice of contract exhibits substantial state dependence, with an estimated marginal effect of previous contract choice of 0.96, and that the short-run effects of variation in prices and temperature on the choice of electricity contract are small. Further, the state dependence and price responsiveness are similar across housing types, income levels and other dimensions. A plausible explanation of these results is that transaction costs are perceived to be larger than the relatively small cost savings from switching between contracts.
[en] A regional forecast of useful energy demand in seven Norwegian regions is calculated based on an earlier work with a national forecast. This forecast will be input to the energy system model TIMES-Norway and analyses will result in forecasts of energy use of different energy carriers with varying external conditions (not included in this report). The forecast presented here describes the methodology used and the resulting forecast of useful energy. lt is based on information of the long-term development of the economy by the Ministry of Finance, projections of population growths from Statistics Norway and several other studies. The definition of a forecast of useful energy demand is not absolute, but depends on the purpose. One has to be careful not to include parts that are a part of the energy system model, such as energy efficiency measures. In the forecast presented here the influence of new building regulations and the prohibition of production of incandescent light bulbs in EU etc. are included. Other energy efficiency measures such as energy management, heat pumps, tightening of leaks etc. are modelled as technologies to invest in and are included in the TIMES-Norway model. The elasticity between different energy carriers are handled by the TIMES-Norway model and some elasticity is also included as the possibility to invest in energy efficiency measures. The forecast results in an increase of the total useful energy from 2006 to 2050 by 18 o/o. The growth is expected to be highest in the regions South and East. The industry remains at a constant level in the base case and increased or reduced energy demand is analysed as different scenarios with the TIMES-Norway model. The most important driver is the population growth. Together with the assumptions made it results in increased useful energy demand in the household and service sectors of 25 o/o and 57 % respectively.(au)
[en] The morpheme nano in languages such as Swedish and English is a constituent of many words. This article linguistically analyses the meaning potential of nano by focusing on word use in a Swedish newspaper corpus comprising 2,564 articles (1.6 million words) covering a 22-year period (1988–2010). Close to 400 word forms having nano as a constituent have been identified and analyzed. The results suggest that nano covers a broad and heterogeneous conceptual field: (i) as a prefix of the SI system; (ii) in relation to the scientific activities of nanoscience and nanotechnology, including their sub-processes and actors; and (iii) in relation to objects. The identified meanings of nano, besides the standard definition (i.e. ‘billionth part’ in relation to SI units), are ‘operating at the nanometre level’ in relation to activities and their actors and ‘nanometre sized’ and ‘nanotechnological’ in relation to objects; in addition, the less precise and non-technical meaning ‘very small’ is identified. We discuss the implications of the findings for a hypothesis about media influence on public understanding of technology, suggesting that repeated findings in Europe and the USA of little self-reported understanding and knowledge of nanotechnology or nanoscience among the public make sense in light of the polysemy of nano reflected in its broad variety of verbal forms and usages.
[en] The agricultural commodity crisis of 2006–2008 and the recent evolution of commodity markets have reignited anxieties in Finland over fast-rising food prices and food security. Little is known about the strength of the linkages between food markets and input markets, such as the energy market. Using monthly series of price indices from 1995 to 2010, we estimate a vector error-correction (VEC) model in a cointegration framework in order to investigate the short-term and long-term dynamics of food price formation. The results indicate that a statistically significant long-run equilibrium relationship exists between the prices of food and those of the main variable inputs consumed by the food chain, namely agricultural commodities, labour, and energy. When judged by the magnitude of long-run pass-through rates, farm prices represent the main determinant of food prices, followed by wages in food retail and the price of energy. The parsimonious VEC model suggests that the dynamics of food price formation are dominated by a relatively quick process of adjustment to the long-run equilibrium, the half life of the transitional dynamics being six to eight months following a shock. - Highlights: • We investigate the dynamics of food price formation in Finland. • We establish the existence of a long-run equilibrium relationship between the prices of food, energy, agricultural commodities, and wages. • Energy price plays a significant but limited role in determining the equilibrium level of food prices
[en] Highlights: • Purpose is to investigate how regulators influence market outcomes when their decisions can be appealed. • The investigation controls for both regulator experience and case complexity. • The links between experience, complexity and regulatory outcomes are both statistically and economically significant. - Abstract: This paper investigates how regulators influence outcomes in regulated markets when their decisions are subject to the threat of court review. We develop a theoretical model that provides a number of behavioural implications when (i) all regulators' dislike having their decisions overturned by courts, (ii) inexperienced regulators care more about not having their decisions overturned than experienced regulators, and (iii) experienced regulators also care about consumer surplus. The theoretical implications are tested using a database of Swedish regulatory decisions from the electricity distribution sector. We provide empirical evidence that inexperienced regulators are more likely to set higher regulated prices than experienced regulators, and as the complexity of the case increases, there are on average more overturned decisions and higher prices for inexperienced regulators. The links between experience, complexity and regulatory outcomes are both statistically and economically significant. Simulations show that if those decisions that were not appealed had been appealed, then the court would have lowered the prices by 10% on average.
[en] Capabilities-based planning and capability assessment are high on the agendas of several countries and organisations as part of their risk management and emergency preparedness. Despite this, few definitions of capability exist, and they are not easily related to concepts such as risk, vulnerability and resilience. The aim of the present study was thus to broaden the scientific basis of the risk field to also include the concept of capability. The proposed definition is based on a recently developed risk framework, and we define capability as the uncertainty about and the severity of the consequences of an activity given the occurrence of the initiating event and the performed task. We provide examples of how the response capability for a fictive scenario can be described using this definition, and illustrate how our definition can be used to analyse capability assessments prepared according to the Swedish crisis management system. We have analysed the content of 25 capability assessments produced in 2011 by stakeholders on local, regional and national level. It was concluded that none addressed uncertainty to any appreciable extent, and only a third described capability in terms of consequences and task, making it difficult to relate these capability assessments to risk assessments. - Highlights: • Few definitions of capability relate to definitions of risk, vulnerability and resilience. • We relate capability to risk, vulnerability and resilience. • We define capability using the components uncertainty, consequences, event and task
[en] We investigate the trading behavior of Finnish individual investors trading the stocks selected to compute the OMXH25 index in 2003 by tracking the individual daily investment decisions. We verify that the set of investors is a highly heterogeneous system under many aspects. We introduce a correlation based method that is able to detect a hierarchical structure of the trading profiles of heterogeneous individual investors. We verify that the detected hierarchical structure is highly overlapping with the cluster structure obtained with the approach of statistically validated networks when an appropriate threshold of the hierarchical trees is used. We also show that the combination of the correlation based method and of the statistically validated method provides a way to expand the information about the clusters of investors with similar trading profiles in a robust and reliable way.
[en] Highlights: • Ports play an important role in global production and distribution systems. • Ports need to redevelop to be economically viable in the face of global challenges. • Ports also face environmental and societal challenges that affect their operations. • The paper presents an approach to generate new land using contaminated material. • Circular Economy provides ports with a way to redevelop sustainably and remain open. - Abstract: Ports are an important player in the world, due to their role in global production and distributions systems. They are major intermodal transport hubs, linking the sea to the land. For all ports, a key requirement for commercial and economic viability is to retain ships using them and to remain accessible to those ships. Ports need to find approaches to help them remain open. They must ensure their continued economic viability. At the same time, they face increasing pressure to become more environmentally and socially conscious. This paper examines the approach taken by the Port of Gävle, Sweden, which used contaminated dredged materials to create new land using principles of Circular Economy. The paper demonstrates that using Circular Economy principles can be a viable way of securing a port's future and contributing to its sustainability, and that of the city/region where it operates.
[en] Earlier studies conducted at 400 and 110 kV substations in Finland have shown that the occupational exposure to electric fields can exceed the action levels (ALs) set by Directive 2013/35/EU. This is a case study investigating the level of occupational exposure experienced by workers at 220 kV substations in order to determine if the actions levels are being exceeded. The measurements were conducted at two old 220 kV substations in Finland. The higher AL of 20 kV m-1 was exceeded at both substations. (authors)
[en] Fennovoima will build a nuclear power plant of 1200 MW at Hanhikivi headland in Pyhaejoki, Northern Finland on the shore of the Baltic Sea. According to the target schedule the plant will produce electricity in 2024. The plant supplier is Rusatom Overseas, subsidiary of the Russian Rosatom. No industrial activity is practiced in the immediate surroundings of the site area and the headland and its surroundings are sparsely populated. The area is in its natural state. This means that all the preparatory and infrastructure works needs to be done before the construction of NPP can start. The environmental and nature conservation aspects have to be taken into consideration in planning, construction and operation of the NPP. Northern location sets some challenges to the design of the power plant. The sea area is normally covered with ice almost half of the year which has to be taken into account in the design of the power plant. But there are also advantages: in winter when the cooling water is cold the efficiency of electricity production is estimated to be exceptionally good, approximately 39 %. Since 2008, Fennovoima has carried out several environmental studies and surveys in the site area and has collected information about the nature conditions on land and in the sea area. The collected environmental data has been utilized in land use planning, environmental impact assessment procedure and in applying for conventional permits. The environmental data can also be used as baseline data. The document is composed of an abstract and the presentation slides