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[en] Glancing at the actual development of environmental policy in the European Community over the past three decades, one sees a picture that seems to be very much in contradiction with the advise of neo-classical economics. With the support of the Council, the European Commission has been developing a Community environmental policy from 1972 on. Principal instruments of this Community environmental policy have been directives that require harmonisation of environmental standards for similar industries in the various Member States. In its most strict sense of full harmonisation, this policy would imply uniform environmental standards. Industry would then use the environment with the same intensity independent of where producers are situated in the European Community. The consequence of a harmonised approach would be that in countries where environmental quality is scarce, pollution per unit of output would be as high or low as it is in countries where environmental quality is relatively abundant. This dissertation has been inspired by this apparent discrepancy between the advice from economic theory and the practice of the Community environmental policy. A first question, which is the main issue of this book, is whether the observation of a discrepancy is correct or perhaps a faulty perception. A next question is whether an explanation can be given for the discrepancy in so far as it turns out to exist. These questions are analysed on the bases of a selection of directives aimed at or having a strong impact on polluting emissions by stationary point sources. The first issue addressed is to determine what economic theory says exactly about the international harmonisation of environmental standards. A second question concerns the legal base for the environmental secondary legislation that was chosen by the European Institutions. A third question concerns the reasons for harmonisation of environmental standards that are used. A fourth question concerns the actual level of harmonisation of environmental standards in the European Community. The basic question is whether the level of harmonisation in EU environmental legislation is in correspondence with the conclusions of neo-classical economic theory
[en] Economic processes generate a variety of material flows, which cause resource problems through the depletion of natural resources and environmental issues due to the emission of pollutants. This thesis presents an analytical method to study the relationship between the monetary economy and the 'physical economy'. In particular, this method can assess the impact of structural change in the economy on physical throughput. The starting point for the approach is the development of an elaborate version of the physical input-output table (PIOT), which acts as an economic-environmental accounting framework for the physical economy. In the empirical application, hybrid-unit input-output (I/O) tables, which combine physical and monetary information, are constructed for iron and steel, and plastic products for the Netherlands for the years 1990 and 1997. The impact of structural change on material flows is analyzed using Structural Decomposition Analysis (SDA), whic specifies effects such as sectoral shifts, technological change, and alterations in consumer spending and international trade patterns. The study thoroughly reviews the application of SDA to environmental issues, compares the method with other decomposition methods, and develops new mathematical specifications. An SDA is performed using the hybrid-unit input-output tables for the Netherlands. The results are subsequently used in novel forecasting and backcasting scenario analyses for the period 1997-2030. The results show that dematerialization of iron and steel, and plastics, has generally not occurred in the recent past (1990-1997), and will not occur, under a wide variety of scenario assumptions, in the future (1997-2030)
[en] This study focuses on the processes through which the rules and regulations that govern European electricity markets - and inherently, their integration process - are established. So far, European policy makers have largely followed a 'trial-and-error' approach to finding an appropriate regulatory mode (process) for dealing effectively with market integration issues. This unstructured approach to regulatory mode selection leads to several problems: - Today's trial-and-error strategy of shifting from one regulatory mode to another is time-consuming. - In the regulatory mode selection process, certain key principles of good governance are insufficiently considered. - European regulatory processes are experienced as vague, intransparent, and illegitimate by 'outside' stakeholders. This study develops a 'structured approach to regulatory mode decision-making' (STARMODE) based on the theory of decision modelling in policy management and a case study exploring three key market integration issues in the field of electricity markets: interconnector investment, congestion management and market transparency. The main objective is to present a systematic and comprehensive framework for analysing and improving regulatory mode decision-making in the context of the European Union, focusing on electricity market integration. The STARMODE approach is generally applicable to (and relevant for) European market integration issues in industries characterized by a natural monopoly and/or an essential service. The approach may also contribute to national regulatory mode decision-making and multi-state decision-making in other continents.
[en] This paper tests the Environmental Kuznets Curve hypothesis for four local (SOx, NOx, CO, VOC) and two global (CO2, GHG) air pollutants. Using a new panel data set of thirty OECD countries, the paper finds that the postulated inverted U-shaped relationship between income and pollution does not hold for all gases. A meaningful Environmental Kuznets Curve exists only for CO, VOC and NOx, where for CO2 the curve is monotonically increasing. For GHG there is indication of an inverted U-shaped relationship between income and pollution, but still most countries are on the increasing path of the curve and hence the future development of the curve is uncertain. For SOx it was found that emissions follow an U-shaped curve. Based on the empirical results, the paper concludes that the Environmental Kuznets Curve does not hold for all gases, it is rather an empirical artefact than a regularity.
[en] The electricity sector worldwide is undergoing a fundamental transformation of its institutional structure as a consequence of the complex interactions of political, economic and technological forces. The way the industry is organized is changing from vertically integrated monopolies to unbundled structures that favor market mechanisms. This process in Europe, known as the liberalization process, has had a wide impact on the European electricity industry. The focus of this dissertation is an analysis of the role of electricity power exchanges in the recently liberalized electricity markets of Europe. In the context of creating a competitive electricity market at a European level, the key questions considered are the functioning of these power exchanges with respect to electricity characteristics, market design and regulatory framework. In Europe, very little attention has been paid to the role of these new marketplaces and to the issue of market design in general. Hence the main purpose of this work was to analyze how these marketplaces facilitate the trading of electricity and the role they can play in the construction of a pan-European competitive electricity market. An analysis of power exchange requires taking into account the 'double-duality' of such institutions. One, power exchanges are both a market and an institution. As a market they facilitate the trading of electricity and determine an equilibrium price. As an institution power exchanges have their own objectives and constraints, and play a role in the market design of the overall electricity market. Two, the relationship between electricity power exchanges and liberalization is neither linear nor one way: liberalization encourages the birth of such marketplaces yet marketplaces are more than the results of such process, they are also a driving force of the liberalization process. This thesis is divided into three parts. The current situation in Europe and different existing theoretical approaches in the literature are presented as a starting point for the analysis in part 1 of the thesis. In part 2 power exchanges are considered as marketplaces with a specific type of functioning, which in turn involves interaction from participants. Finally the concrete output of these interactions is analyzed using empirical observations to estimate the level of competition on power exchanges. Part 3 of the thesis begins with an empirical estimation of the level of integration of European electricity markets. The level of integration is estimated using an econometric test based on power exchanges prices. Such an analysis shows a low level of market integration at the European level. In the next step of the analysis an attempt is made to explain the reasons for such low market integration. The hypothesis developed is that the actual wholesale market design at the European level lacks efficient transmission pricing. We then present some different theoretical approaches to transmission pricing (Nodal/Zonal) and an analysis of actual successful examples of integrated markets (PJM, Nord pool). We conclude by providing some empirical evidence of inefficient transmission pricing in Europe. Finally we argue that the creation of an integrated market requires design at the European level rather than national market design
[en] The majority of people living in developing countries do not have access to electricity and most of these two billion people live in rural areas. Social and political pressure to supply power to these areas will increase and the question will not be whether these areas will get electricity, but when. This book contains a comprehensive analysis of rural electrification programmes implemented in both industrialised and developing countries. The impact of current developments and trends on the approach to rural electricity supply in these countries is also examined. The author has identified a number of critical success factors for rural electrification, such as a politically and socially stable environment, an appropriate electrification process, support from the international community, and a utility organisation based on decentralisation and operational autonomy. The broad handling of the subject makes this book useful to utility managers, development agencies, academics, and others involved in the electrification of rural and remote areas refs
[en] The Dutch electricity sector has been transformed into a liberalized international energy market. Market players are free to choose from various electricity generation options when replacing or expanding production capacity. However, choices that are made now will influence emissions (ecology), integral costs (economy) and availability (security of supply) for the next 25 - 40 years. This thesis shows if and how, based on the current electricity supply system, an optimal balance of ecology, economy and security of supply can be achieved. First, the current electricity supply system is described to create a frame of reference. Then, future technological developments are described for electricity production options. Four potential scenarios are constructed featuring various uncertainties: the globalising versus the local economy; priority versus subordination for the environment; and the security/insecurity of the fuel supply. These four scenarios are worked out with a specially developed techno-economic simulation model; the results are analysed in terms of ecology, economy and security of supply. The findings indicate that it is impossible to arrive at an optimal balance for the defined scenarios. Scenarios with a low environmental impact lead to high integral costs and vice versa. However, by applying a smart combination of various modern generation technologies, CO2 capture and storage, the deployment of biomass and the re-use of residual heat it is possible to reach an optimal balance whereby the additional integral costs can be kept under control compared with the lowest-cost scenarios. To achieve this, clear growth and incentive guidelines need to be established for the various production options. This thesis will form a good starting point for that exercise
[en] The increasing concerns regarding the security of energy supply, climate change, and the environmental-health impacts of fossil fuels' burning and nuclear energy use have consolidated the political interest in many countries to support the diffusion of renewable energy technologies. In the industrialized countries that have adopted so far policies for renewable energy support, diffusion results are mixed. The core questions that challenge policy makers and academics are: How to design policies that are effective in market introduction and able to sustain diffusion in the long-term? and: What is the impact of different policy approaches in terms of technical and cost-performance improvements of renewable energy technologies? The study addresses these questions and proposes to analyze the diffusion potential of support systems from the perspective of investors. Policy design needs to account for the investment risks associated with support schemes and the profitability they enable for investors. But, still, the effectiveness of a specific support system may not be the same across national contexts. Financing agents and economic actors have different business requirements and business culture in various countries, which influences the effects of support systems. The technical particularities of technologies may also influence the diffusion process. In order to track down influences, the book examines the market diffusion processes of three renewable electricity technologies in three countries: wind energy in Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom; biomass in Spain; and small hydropower technology in Spain. The book may be particularly interesting for policy makers and policy scholars concerned with the challenge of greening the energy supply, and understanding diffusion processes and their consequences
[en] For more than a decade, the European governments have focused their energy policies on creating one European competitive electricity market. Several regulations are introduced into the European electricity industries for this purpose: the energy firms have to unbundle the electricity networks from electricity generation and retail, and the consumers should be able to choose their electricity retailer. This thesis analyses which new governance structures emerged in the Dutch and French electricity industries as a result of these regulations for four types of electricity transactions: the network connection, network access, balancing and switching transactions. The parties in these electricity industries did not adopt a market, but hybrid forms of governance that remained extensively regulated. The efficiency of these new governance structures cannot be explained with the attributes of the transactions, as is proposed by transaction cost economics. This thesis therefore introduces the concept of adaptation into transaction cost economics. Adaptation is the adjustment by economic actors from one governance structure to another, and is characterized by three attributes: the identity of the future contracting party, the laterality of the adaption, and the type of response in the adaptation process. These attributes explain the governance transformations and the new governance structures in the two industries. Regulation continues to play a pervasive role in the liberalized electricity industries. It influences the attributes of the transactions, the new governance structures and the adaptation process.
[en] Concerns about inequitable distributions of burdens among and within countries are a serious barrier for the implementation of climate policies. Insight into such distributional effects is highly relevant for adequate action by policy-makers. The aim of this thesis is to examine the possible distributional effects of climate policies among and within European countries. First, the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of household consumption in different income groups and countries are quantified, taking into account the life-cycle of goods and services. Additionally, the cost distributions of economic instruments are considered. The findings show that the variation in household GHG emissions among countries and income groups depends on both (1) the household consumption level and pattern, and (2) the life-cycle GHG emissions of basic and luxury goods. The Dutch case studies show that the share of GHG emissions from basic goods, such as food and housing, is larger than the share of GHG emissions from luxury goods. Accordingly, low-income households will carry a relatively higher burden in the case of a CO2 tax than high-income households. This unequal distribution of costs may be diminished by extending the scope op the tax with non-CO2 GHG, like methane and nitrous oxide. Climate policies will probably have similar effects in the UK. In contrast, climate policies will probably lead to a relatively higher burden for high-income households in Sweden and Norway. These national differences can be partly explained by differences in national conditions, like energy supply and population density