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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] 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] 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] Forty-six mining-induced seismic events with moment magnitude between −1.2 and 2.1 that possibly caused damage were studied. The events occurred between 2008 and 2013 at mining level 850–1350 m in the Kiirunavaara Mine (Sweden). Hypocenter locations were refined using from 6 to 130 sensors at distances of up to 1400 m. The source parameters of the events were re-estimated using spectral analysis with a standard Brune model (slope −2). The radiated energy for the studied events varied from 4.7 × 10−1 to 3.8 × 107 J, the source radii from 4 to 110 m, the apparent stress from 6.2 × 102 to 1.1 × 106 Pa, energy ratio (Es/Ep) from 1.2 to 126, and apparent volume from 1.8 × 103 to 1.1 × 107 m3. 90% of the events were located in the footwall, close to the ore contact. The events were classified as shear/fault slip (FS) or non-shear (NS) based on the Es/Ep ratio (>10 or <10). Out of 46 events 15 events were classified as NS located almost in the whole range between 840 and 1360 m, including many events below the production. The rest 31 FS events were concentrated mostly around the production levels and slightly below them. The relationships between some source parameters and seismic moment/moment magnitude showed dependence on the type of the source mechanism. The energy and the apparent stress were found to be three times larger for FS events than for NS events.
[en] Finland has about 200 urban heating networks for an annual consumption of 35 TWh, half of them are supplied with heat from fossil fuels (coal, gas and oil) and peat (in Finland peat is considered as a slowly-renewable energy). A study has shown that small modular reactors (SMR) could fit 60% of the district heating networks and could suppress the use of fossil fuels and peat in the energy mix. Some cities like Helsinki, Espoo and Kirkkonummi have already launched feasibility studies but reactor manufacturers are waiting for the Finnish Safety Authority to implement a set of rules and requirements for the design and use of SMR for heat production. (A.C.)
[en] Highlights: • Trust in public institutions is a stable predictor of environmental policy support. • Punishing preference is linked to support for push policies. • Different forms of trust have different effects on different environmental policies. - Abstract: The role of trust in supporting environmental policy instruments (EPIs) has attracted increased interest in recent years. Various trust measures have often been conflated, making it unclear whether trust or distrust drives demand for EPIs. Here we investigate how trust in various actors (i.e., citizens in general, business actors, and political institutions) affects attitudes to different kinds of state intervention (i.e., push vs. pull instruments). We hypothesize that distrust, through a willingness to punish, generates demand for push policies, while trust, through a willingness to reward, generates demand for pull policies. Using survey responses from approximately 1800 Swedish college students, different trust measures were found to have different links to attitudes to state intervention: trust in public administration is a stable predictor of EPI support, whereas distrust in business actors generates stronger support for punishing instruments. We also found that preferences for push policies are associated with a willingness to punish, whereas preferences for pull policies are associated with a willingness to reward. We conclude that different trust measures should not be conflated when discussing whether trust explains attitudes to state environmental intervention.
[en] This annex was primarily aimed at tentatively applying the proposed Safety Goals Framework on the situation in Sweden, taking into consideration mainly laws and regulations, but also addressing some utility requirements. It is important to recognise that the application was not aimed to be complete. Still some general conclusions can be drawn. Thus, existing laws and regulations seem to provide a good coverage of the four layers of the Safety Goals Framework, including demonstrating adequate coverage of different types of facilities and covering the entire life span. The application of the Safety Goals Framework to Swedish conditions was quite easily done, i.e., it seems the framework and work process suggested in the TECDOC are quite easily applied.
[en] Highlights: • More than half of the respondents use an elimination-by-aspects strategy. • A restriction on electricity use is more unacceptable than restrictions on heating. • The use of decision rules does not vary widely over observed respondent characteristics. • Considering elimination-by-aspects strategies results in lower willingness-to-accept estimates. - Abstract: In this paper, we report on a discrete choice experiment aimed at eliciting Swedish households' willingness-to-accept a compensation for restrictions on household electricity and heating use during peak hours. When analyzing data from discrete choice experiments it is typically assumed that people make rational utility maximizing decisions, i.e., that they consider all of the attribute information and compare all alternatives. However, mounting evidence shows that people use a wide range of simplifying strategies that are inconsistent with utility maximization. We use a flexible model capturing a two-stage decision process. In the first stage, respondents are allowed to eliminate from their choice set alternatives that contain an unacceptable level, in this case restrictions on the use of heating and electricity. In the second stage, respondents choose in a compensatory manner between the remaining alternatives. Our results show that about half of the respondents choose according to an elimination-by-aspects strategy, and that, on average, they are unwilling to accept any restrictions on heating in the evening or electricity use irrespective of time-of-day. Furthermore, considering elimination-by-aspects behavior leads to a downward shift in elicited willingness-to-accept. We discuss implications for policy.
[en] Highlights: • Modelling of the contribution of appliances to households’ hourly consumption. • New services will require additional production and transmission capacities. • Results from a new experiment giving households’ incentives to shift demand in time. • Demand flexibility may reduce required capacity enlargements. • Incentives targeting new services will be particularly important. - Abstract: The electrification of residential energy demand for heating and transportation is expected to increase peak load and require additional generation and transmission capacities. Electrification also provides an opportunity to increase demand response. With a focus on household electricity consumption, we analyse the contribution of appliances and new services, such as individual heat pumps and electric vehicles, to peak consumption and the need for demand response incentives to reduce the peak. Initially, the paper presents a new model that represents the hourly electricity consumption profile of households in Denmark. The model considers hourly consumption profiles for different household appliances and their contribution to annual household electricity consumption. When applying the model to an official scenario for annual electricity consumption, assuming non-flexible consumption due to a considerable introduction of electric vehicles and individual heat pumps, household consumption is expected to increase considerably, especially peak hour consumption is expected to increase. Next the paper presents results from a new experiment where household customers are given economic and/or environmental incentives to shift consumption to or away from specified hours. The experiment focuses on the present classic consumption and shows that household customers do react to incentives, but today the flexibility of the classic consumption is limited. Considering electric vehicles and individual heat pumps, for an individual household, the consumption of each of these technologies roughly doubles the household’s consumption and considerably increases their potential for flexibility. Thus, in order to introduce incentives for demand flexibility, while considering reducing peak consumption, policy makers should initially focus on households that have a heat pump and/or an electric vehicle.
[en] Highlights: • Sustainable wildlife policies depend on a holistic understanding of complex systems. • Interdisciplinary diagnostic procedures for social-ecological systems are needed. • We discover patterns in the social-ecological setting of Swedish moose management. • Need for different policy adaptation strategies to avoid a growing “problem of fit”. • Our approach delivers a place-based understanding of social-ecological complexity. - Abstract: A holistic understanding of the complex interactions between humans, wildlife, and habitats is essential for the design of sustainable wildlife policies. This challenging task requires innovative and interdisciplinary research approaches. Using the newly implemented ecosystem-based management of moose (Alces alces) in Sweden as a case, we applied Ostrom’s social-ecological system (SES) framework to analyse the challenges that wildlife management faces throughout the country. We combined data derived from natural and social science research to operationalize the framework in a quantitative way; an approach that enabled a spatially explicit analysis on the national and regional levels. This study aimed to discover patterns in the social-ecological context of Swedish moose management. Identifying these patterns can provide input for an in-depth evaluation of the institutional fit of the current system and subsequently for national policy development. Our SES maps suggest that there are spatial variations in factors challenging moose management. In some areas, ecological aspects such as the co-occurrence of carnivores and other ungulate species burdens future management, while in other regions challenges are shaped by governance aspects, e.g. diverse property rights. These findings demonstrate that the new management system must apply adaptive learning principles to respond to local context attributes in order to be successful. Our innovative approach provides a valuable tool for the assessment of other natural resource management issues and the avoidance of panacea traps, especially when repeated over time.