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[en] Economic theory about foreign trade and competition as well as empirical studies of relevance are not making evident that industries in general should pay lower environmental taxes than other kind of consumers. Consequently, economic theory cannot justify the present Danish energy tax regime where households are required to pay high energy taxes whereas industries are allowed to pay low energy taxes. On the contrary, it is more likely that reduced industry taxes will result in reduced welfare to society, lower income and lower employment as compared to a scenario of equal energy taxes. Theory can justify, however, a stepwise introduction of green taxes in order to make industries and markets adapt to the new regulatory framework. Moreover, some theoretical contributions argue that under certain circumstances one could point to a need for protecting certain kinds of industries (e.g. industries employing unskilled labour), but an exclusive tax reduction given to all industries is not supported by economic theory. By using the GTAP model we have calculated the welfare effect of levelling Danish energy taxes so households and industries have to pay equal energy taxes. The GTAP model has a good and international reputation for being designed to analyse international trade and competitiveness. We find that levelling the Danish energy taxes will increase welfare in Denmark by 1.3% equivalent to DKK 8 billion. The Danish energy tax reform, however, will cause an increase in CO2 emissions in neighbouring countries. The calculation does not consider the influence of the EU market for tradable CO2 permits introduced as from January 2005. (au)
[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] 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] 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] This paper presents an analysis of the auction prices at the cross-border auction between West Denmark and Germany and between East Denmark and Germany (the Kontek cable). Monthly and annual transmission capacities appear to be more highly valued than daily transmission capacity on average. The two cross-border auctions show different trends: the auctions between West Denmark and Germany exhibit a higher level of prices in the southbound direction, and between East Denmark and Germany, higher prices in the northbound direction. We find a relatively strong correspondence in the pricing of products over different time frames (daily, monthly and annual auctions) between West Denmark and Germany and a weak correspondence for the products between East Denmark and Germany. In the daily auctions, market players can decide whether to use their capacity after the clearing of the day-ahead market, while in the monthly and annual auctions they must decide whether to use their capacity prior to clearing. If they choose not to use their capacity, the use-it-or-lose-it principle applies. The capacity is then subsequently released to the daily market. Since the daily cross-border auctions are free of commitment, they should be valued as options. Likewise, in the monthly and annual auctions market players can choose not to nominate their capacity but as this must occur before the clearing of the day-ahead market, they will not know the directions of the power flows a priori. If they nominate the capacity they must use it; if the direction turns out to be ''wrong,'' it is then possible to purchase capacity in the opposite direction in the daily auctions. If market players can accurately predict the outcome of the spot markets day ahead, the value of monthly and annual capacity should more closely reflect the value of an option. Thus, one would expect the value of the monthly and annual capacity to be between the value of an option and an obligation. Although this suggests that the average price of daily capacity should be greater than monthly and annual capacity, our data do not support this hypothesis. The daily, monthly and annual capacity auctions do not reflect the value of the underlying asset as specified by the appropriate valuation of the energy price differentials between West Denmark and Germany and East Denmark and Germany. Therefore, market players are exposed to substantial variation in fees for congestion management on the cross-border. We study whether arbitrage improves over time and discern no obvious trend. Since the explicit auction procedure has not been cost-efficient, a better approach appears to be the new market coupling arrangement introduced on the Kontek cable and on the border between West Denmark and Germany, with the result that market players will pay a congestion management fee (i.e. area price difference) equal to the energy price differential resulting from the market coupling mechanism. (author)
[en] The article presents briefly the results from a study on energy conservation in housing and points out that refurbishing may have a larger potential for reducing power consumption that many other solutions such as heat pumps (tk)
[en] Till the mid nineties, Vattenfall had a dominant position in Sweden. Vattenfall is a limited liability company owned (100%) by the Swedish State. While lowering its share in the Swedish market, liberalization has provided the company with the opportunity to invest in other European countries. Capitalizing on its experience in its homeland, the firm invested in neighboring Finland, Poland and, above all, Germany. A European operator was born. (author)
[en] Despite having had a deregulated electricity market in Sweden for over ten years we still need to increase our understanding as to how deregulated electricity markets actually work and how possible problems are to be solved. One question that is always in focus is if the competition between generators in the Nordic electricity market really works the way it was intended. Many argue that the concentration in ownership of generation plants already has gone too far. Together with joint ownership in nuclear facilities and barriers for entrance, critics say that this has resulted in higher electricity prices than necessary. In this report different methods to (ex ante) study potential possibilities for generating firms to influence the electricity price (market power) and (ex post) discover possible manipulation through analysing the spot price and other observed factors on the electricity market are analysed. The purpose of the longer underlying paper is to give a comprehensive treatment of the electricity market with storage, i.e. hydro power, with an auction market organisation and to test the models on the Nordic market in order to explore the explanatory power of auction market theory and the theory of contestable market. The main theoretical effort in the paper concerns auction theory with inventories. The paper develops an inter-temporal auction model of a thermal-hydro power market. Parallel to the derivation of the basic equations a numerical model is developed in order to illustrate the results of the model. Section 2 of the present paper summarizes the basic equations (derived in the longer paper) for an inter-temporal auction thermal-hydro market. Section 3 contains the illustrations of solutions to equations for some stylized markets. In section 4 the auction model is tested on the Nordic market