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[en] The electricity derivatives market has grown significantly during the last few years. It refers to all commodity derivatives (options, futures and forwards) based on electricity and traded either on the Nord Pool Exchange or bilaterally between single parties. The growth of the derivatives market has also led to an increasing need for relevant regulation and monitoring. In this report ECON describes how the common financial regulations (e.g. Sweden's Securities Operations Act) affect power sector companies and how the electricity derivatives market is being monitored by the Swedish and the Norwegian financial supervisory authorities. The aim of the report is to give ideas about possible future research projects about the electricity derivatives market. In Sweden commodity derivatives based on electricity are generally considered to be 'financial instruments' according to The Trading in Financial Instruments Act. At least this seems to be the case with contracts traded on Nord Pool and bilateral contracts that can be subject to clearing by Nord Pool. In some cases, companies wanting to offer services regarding financial instruments in the Swedish market need a special licence and it comes from the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority. The services that require a special permit are: trading financial instruments, in one's own name, on behalf of another party, brokering of contacts between purchasers and sellers, trading in financial instruments on one's own account, management of another party's financial instruments, and underwriting or other participation in issuances of securities or offers to purchase or sell financial instruments directly to the public. A licence to conduct a securities operation brings with it, among other things, certain mandatory capital requirements. Securities operations should also be conducted in such a manner that public confidence is maintained in the securities markets. Regulation should insure that for example, insider trading is not possible. Today less than ten Swedish power sector companies hold a licence to conduct securities operations, while another five or so have applied for a licence. The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority is responsible for supervising the securities markets and monitoring compliance. So far, however, the authority seems to have given low priority to the financial part of the electricity market. The European Council Directive on investment services in the securities field does not apply to commodity derivatives. This means that the regulation of the electricity derivatives market differs between European countries. Norway, for instance, has a less strict regulation than Sweden. A major difference is that Norwegian companies that offer commodity derivatives don't need a special licence. ECON ends the report, by listing certain questions that we feel justify further investigation, for example: In what way is competition affected by the fact that different countries within the common Nordic electricity exchange area have different financial regulations? What are the costs of having different financial regulations, in different countries within the common Nordic electricity exchange area? Since Nord Pool in Norway soon will be authorised to act as a securities exchange: What differences are there between Swedish and Norwegian exchange regulations? How do these differences affect Nord Pool? Are there financial contracts traded bilaterally between single parties that are not considered to be financial instruments? If so, what are the consequences? Are there on the Swedish market actors without licences offering investment services of a kind that really should require a licence? Do the monitoring activities of the Swedish and the Norwegian financial supervisory authorities differ in any significant way?
[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] This report surveys the existing research and development (R and D) skill in Norway in the field of ''Market oriented and rational use of energy and power''. The need for skills upgrading and future R and D is discussed. Four areas for R and D are identified as especially important: (1) external conditions, (2) end user behavior, (3) the interplay of all issues related to the end user's competence, and (4) information and communication technology
[en] This paper presents a stochastic factor based approach to mid-term modeling of spot prices in deregulated electricity markets. The fundamentals affecting the spot price are modeled independently and a market equilibrium model combines them to form spot price. Main advantage of the model is the transparency of the generated prices because each underlying factor and the dynamics between factors can be modeled and studied in detail. Paper shows realistic numerical examples on the forerunner Scandinavian electricity market. The model is used to price an exotic electricity derivative. (author)
[en] The article discusses some recent trends in the consumption of electric energy in Norway. The price on electric energy has risen strongly and politicians and others have asked the consumers to economize on electricity. Private households have been aiming at economizing and energy-intensive industries have indeed reduced the power consumption. However, other industries and consumers have a considerable potential for saving energy, but are not doing much about it
[en] The responsibility for providing an overview of 'all factors in the environment which are or may be having a direct or indirect influence on the health - -' rests with the municipal health authorities. In order to enable the municipal staff throughout Norway to accomplish local radon surveys, an information campaign on radon, including printed information material and training courses, was carried out in 1998-99, primarily directed towards municipal civil servants. The two-day training courses comprised of lectures and a compendium covering basic knowledge on ionizing radiation, sources of radon, measurement techniques, health risk, prophylactic and remedial measures, design and accomplishment of survey projects, and information strategy. The printed information material includes booklets providing general information on radon (health risks, measurements, and mitigation), methods for measuring radon in indoor air and construction sites, action levels, and design of municipal radon surveys. Two posters have been issued, one mainly intended for public offices and waiting rooms to motivate the public for radon measurements, the other one intended for municipal personnel and governmental offices, the latter also issued as a collection of fact sheets intended for schools etc. the booklets are displayed on the Internet (www.nrpa.no). The site also contains links to further information on mitigation techniques and economic support to remedial measures. (au)
[en] In connection with the revision of the Danish Energy Act, Energitilsynet (The Danish Energy Regulatory Authority DERA) has worked out directions for how to determine the electric power prices for customers whose annual consumption is less than 100 000 kWh and hourly metered customers with so-called obliged supply agreements. The directions were first applied in the first quarter of 2005 and led to down-regulation of prices for a number of supply companies. The analysis shows that the competition works satisfactorily and should rather be supplied with other steps such as increased information. Moreover the analysis points out that the price regulation that is currently done cannot easily be combined with the goal of a free electricity market. Price regulation will hamper new business start-ups and innovation, in addition to the fact that market-based contracts run the risk of being ousted. The method that is now in use in the price regulation is questioned. The Energy Authority obtains reference figures for mark-up, for one thing, from the Norwegian Competition Authority. The emphasis placed on the Norwegian reference figures is not known. But a direct comparison is difficult because the consumption figures are different.
[en] In Norway, the budget proposition for 2004 proposes a number of changes in the rules for tax on electric power, and central assessment of taxes for the power producers. On several central points the proposals are in agreement with proposals in the EBL (Norwegian Electricity Industry Association) report on improvements of the power tax system. Later the government will consider coordination of economic rent on company level. The authors discuss the changes and their implications
[en] Only one percent of the natural gas from the Norwegian gas fields is currently used in Norway and it is a national goal that 10 percent of the gas produced shall be used for domestic purposes. Western Norway should pioneer this development, as this is where the gas is brought on land. ''Vestlandsroeret AS'' is a project in which sixteen municipalities - including the city Bergen - and eleven companies plan to develop infrastructure which will provide for transport of the gas to customers and markets in Western Norway. The article also discusses environmental considerations, public opinion, the utilization of waste heat and extensive development of cod culture