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[en] This editorial discusses the shifting dominance in the nuclear reactor technology from the USA to new leadership in East Asia. With the expanding economies and electricity demand, Design, construction and operation of a large number of nuclear power plants in east Asia will support nuclear engineers, technologist, manufacturing facilities, and potential weapons experts. In contrast, the cessation of construction of power reactors in the US is leading to deminished nuclear capabilities
[en] The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was established in 1991 to assist central and eastern European countries in making the transition from command economies to market economies. The Bank provides loans, equity investments, guarantees, advice, and technical cooperation to qualified applicants through its merchant banking and development banking operations. In the energy sector, the Bank recognizes that the energy resources of eastern Europe are enormous but so are the problems associated with their development. Since its foundation, most of the Bank's energy-related lending has been in the oil and gas sector in Russia and the Baltic countries. The Bank has approved eight projects in that sector with total capital costs of ca US$1.7 billion. Major problem areas to be overcome include uneconomic domestic pricing, high energy intensity and pollution, inadequate legal frameworks, inappropriate tax structures, and institutional complexity. Canadian firms have been actively involed in Bank-financed projects in the Russian oil and gas sector, and two such projects are briefly described. They comprise joint ventures with Russian enterprises or associations and include rehabilitation of Siberian oil fields and drilling new wells in the Komi (Arctic) region. A common feature of these projects is that they were well under way before the Bank got involved, but the Bank brings the benefits of additional financing and providing moral support and expertise which can be useful in overcoming administrative and regulatory difficulties
[en] World energy use is predicted to double in the next 40 years. Today, 80% is provided by burning fossil fuels, but this is not sustainable indefinitely because (i) it is driving climate change, and (ii) fossil fuels will eventually be exhausted (starting with oil). The resulting potential energy crisis requires increased investment in energy research and development (which is currently very small on the scale of the $3 trillion p.a. energy market, and falling). The wide portfolio of energy work that should be supported must include fusion, which is one of very few options that are capable in principle of supplying a large fraction of need in an environmentally responsible manner. The case for fusion has been strengthened by recent advances in plasma physics and fusion technology and by studies of fusion power plants that address safety and cost issues. The big questions are, 'How can we deliver fusion power as fast as possible?' and 'How long is it likely to take?' I will review progress in fusion, and argue for a focused fast-track program that could deliver a working prototype power station in less than 30 years.
[en] This article is a review of the potential for nuclear energy development in the developing nations of Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. In each country, there is a substantial need for new generating capacity, and each is exploring the idea of having nuclear energy supply a meaningful portion of this new capacity. Of the four countries, only Pakistan is currently a nuclear operator, and one vintage CANDU plant in operation and the Chashma unit under construction. Thailand and Indonesia have ambitious plans to have 12 reactors in service by the year 2015
[en] Europe's increasing demand for energy and its environmental preoccupations are creating a favourable environment for the development of renewable energy sources. This article stated that although many European countries have adopted voluntary policies since the 1990s to increase the use of renewable energy sources, they have not been developed in an equal or consistent manner. A table was included to show the consumption of renewable energies by country; the percentage of renewable energies in 1995 as compared to 2006; and the consumption of primary energy resources. Combined, Germany, Spain and Denmark produce 75 per cent of wind energy in Europe, while 75 per cent of Europe's hydroelectricity is produced in Norway, Sweden, France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. Germany has also made significant contributions in developing biomass energy. The article emphasized that the development of renewable energy sources is limited by the fact that it cannot keep up with growing energy demands. In addition, renewable energies cannot yet replace all fossil fuel consumption in Europe because of the variation in development from one country to another. 1 ref., 2 tabs., 4 figs.
[en] The ranking of hydropower projects under the Norwegian Master Plan for Water Resources is used to derive implicit government preferences for a number of environmental attributes described by ordinal scores for each project. Higher negative scores are generally associated with greater implicit willingness to pay to avoid the environmental damage tied to the attribute, caused by hydropower development. The total (ordinary economic and implicit environmental) cost for each project are derived, and the environmental costs per capacity unit are found to be on the same order as the economic costs, lower for projects ranked for early exploitation, and higher for projects to be saved permanently. An implicit long-run marginal cost curve for Norwegian hydropower development is derived, which is generally upward sloping, but not uniformly so. This can be due to the model specification problems or ranking inconsistencies, both of which are likely to be present. 11 refs., 7 figs., 1 tab
[en] If the world runs on energy, the energy industry runs on finance. Supplying the industry's huge appetite for funds -on the scale and in the form required - has always posed a major challenge to the international banking community. But in some respects that challenge is greater today than it has ever been, not only because of the industry's escalating requirements but also because of the way bank's attitudes have been changing in the recent past. One reason for this is the rapidly evolving scene within the energy business in response to the harsher competitive conditions and the greater uncertainties of tomorrow. However, the other major factor is that banking itself has been undergoing significant change as a result of severe pressures and constraints, both internal and external. Some of the key global trends and issues affecting energy financing in today's world are considered here. (author)
[en] This paper deals with the formation of a resource extraction tax for a resource that is finite yet relatively abundant in its availability. The basis for the formulation is the higher extraction cost imposed on future generations as a result of present extraction. The optimal size of the tax is determined by the trade-off between present losses and future gains. (author)
[en] The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was established in 1991 and is owned by the western industrialized countries, including Canada, and the former communist countries of Europe and Central Asia. Its purpose is to assist the latter to make the transition from command to market economies in a democratic framework. In the energy sector, most of the EBRD's lending has been in the oil and gas sector in Russia, but it is open for business in other sectors and in all countries of operation. Unlike other development banks, the EBRD is prepared to finance nuclear power projects. The bank is also prepared to finance conventional power plants where these would permit the closure of obsolete or unsafe nuclear plants. In the oil and gas sector, most of the EBRD's lending has related to private sector, joint venture projects aimed at oil field rehabilitation and development. The private sector ventures supported by the Bank normally involve joint stock companies owned 50 per cent by western partners and 50 per cent by Russian state oil companies, which are being privatized or are operating according to private sector principles. (author)