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[en] This study uses the total-factor energy productivity change index (TFEPCH) to investigate the changes in energy productivity of construction industry for 30 provincial regions in China from 2006 to 2015, adopting the improved Luenberger productivity index combined with the directional distance function. In addition to traditional economic output indicator, this study introduces building floor space under construction as a physical output indicator for energy productivity evaluation. The TFEPCH was decomposed into energy technical efficiency change and energy technical progress shift. Results indicate that, first, energy productivity of China’s construction industry decreased by 7.1% annually during 2006–2015. Energy technical regress, rather than energy technical efficiency, contributed most to the overall decline in energy productivity of China’s construction industry. Second, energy productivity in the central region of China decreased dramatically, by a cumulative sum of approximately 77.1%, since 2006, while energy productivity in the eastern and western regions decreased by over 54.3 and 65.3%, respectively. Only two of the 30 provinces considered—Hebei and Shandong—improved their energy productivity during 2006–2015. The findings presented here provide a basis for decision-making and references for administrative departments to set differentiated energy efficiency goals and develop relevant measures. Additionally, the findings are highly significant for energy and resource allocation of Chinese construction industry in different regions.
[en] Energy savings can be treated as an indicator to reveal the effectiveness of energy efficiency task (EET) in the building sector, especially in the public buildings. However, evaluating the values of energy savings in public buildings (ESPB) was challenged by the missing data sources and inadequate tools in China. To overcome these problems, this study applied an extended Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index model to examine the contributions of different impact factors affecting the public building energy consumption (PBEC) and further evaluated the ESPB values during the 10th–12th Five-Year Plan (FYP) periods in China. Results included three aspects: (1) Absolute values of the contribution of the adjusted PBEC intensity to PBEC denoted the ESPB values in China. (2) Total values of ESPB were 99.9 Mtce during the 10th–12th FYP periods of China. Concretely, the ESPB values during the three FYP periods were as follows: 71.091 Mtce (the 12th FYP period), 19.075 Mtce (the 11th FYP period), and 9.734 Mtce (the 10th FYP period). (3) Effective EET of public buildings was a strong support for the rapidly growing ESPB during the three FYP periods. Furthermore, this study suggested that China should issue the official data on energy consumption in the building sector as quickly as possible, and this action would deeply help the government design targeted plans and policies for the future EET in the building sector.
[en] We performed large-scale earthquake economic loss estimations for France and cost–benefit analyses for several French cities by developing a semiempirical, intensity-based approach. The proposed methodology is inexpensive and easily applicable in case of a paucity of detailed information regarding the specific regional seismic hazard and the structural characteristics of the building stock, which is of particular importance in moderate-to-low seismic hazard regions. The exposure model is derived from census datasets, and the seismic vulnerability distribution of buildings is calculated using data mining techniques. Several hypothetical, large-scale retrofit scenarios are proposed, with increasing levels of investment. These cities, in their respective reinforced states, are then subjected to a series of hazard scenarios. Seismic hazard data for different return periods are calculated from regulatory accelerations from French seismic zoning. Loss estimations for the original (non-reinforced) configuration show high levels of expected building repair and replacement costs for all time spans. Finally, the benefits in terms of damage avoidance are compared with the costs of each retrofit measure. Relatively limited strengthening investments reduce the probability of building collapse, which is the main cause of human casualties. However, the results of this study suggest that retrofitting is, on average, only cost-effective in the parts of France with the highest seismicity and over the longest time horizons.
[en] This paper adopts an ex-post regulatory impact assessment (RIA) to analyze the effects of Law no.194/2009 on public-private partnerships (PPP) in the water sector in Portugal. Although the water services have been improving concerning coverage and safety since 1990, any change in regulation can have both “positive and negative” consequences either for customers, providers or local governments. This context can provide the opportunity to observe a national experiment of regulatory reform and assess its outcomes based on the following multiple targets: (i) customer protection; (ii) governance; (iii) financial, infrastructure and operational sustainability; and (iv) environmental improvement. To evaluate the impact of this legal reform, three steps were considered: (i) the status quo, scenarios and perspective; (ii) assessment; and (iii) consultation. Additionally, two aid methods were used: (i) expert opinions (Delphi) and (ii) multicriteria decision modelling method (TOPSIS) based on similarity distance to ideal solution. In fact, Law no.194/2009 reduced the gap in terms of performance between the concessions, but amplified the contrasts when all perspectives are compared. Regarding policy objectives, the major gap to overcome in a possible review of this legal framework is linked to the “economic-financial, operational and infrastructural sustainability objective”. Failures in any of these aspects can result in an ongoing PPP not meeting customer, municipality and concessionaire’s expectations.
[en] The electric power network is considered to be critical infrastructure. Electric utility companies and electric power administrators are increasingly interested in strengthening the security and resilience of their networks against earthquakes. Important components of these networks are high-voltage electrical transformers. Earlier studies in the use of seismic isolation systems for electrical transformers and other equipment produced results that clearly show the benefits of seismic isolation in the horizontal direction. However, vertical ground motions were transmitted through the isolation system unchanged or even magnified. In response to this problem, this paper presents the development and validation of a compact, effective, reliable and cost-effective combined horizontal–vertical seismic isolation system for use in electrical equipment.
[en] The increasing industrialization, urbanization and changes in the pattern of life, which accompany the process of economic growth, give rise to generation of increasing quantities of wastes leading to increased threats to the environment. In recent years, technologies have been developed that not only help in generating substantial quantity of decentralized energy but also in reducing the quantity of waste for its safe disposal. Present paper deals with the collection and conversion of the food waste to biocoal using torrefaction. The bio-coal produced has an average calorific value of 28.98 MJ/kg. This bio-coal generated can be used to set-up a new thermal power plant of nearly 100 kg per day. A technoeconomic analysis has also done to calculate the cost of generation. The cost of generation is found to be Rs. 1.73 at 10% internal rate of return (IRR). This project will also promote the Swachh Bharat Mission of Government of India and will also contribute a solution to the existing problems of power cut and unavailability of power in many places of India.
[en] Highlights: • Optimization of the energy supply system of a steam methane reforming process. • Detailed cost analysis of solar tower and high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR). • Solar and nuclear heat supply system should include a fossil backup heater. • Coupling of solar tower and HTGR is no sensible option. • Neither the solar tower nor the HTGR can compete to the fossil heat supply. - Abstract: Changing the high temperature heat supply of energy intensive industries from today’s mostly fossil sources to nuclear or renewable sources offers the opportunity of massive reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. Even though the high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) as well as the solar tower is technically capable to supply heat at the required high temperature level, it is uncertain whether these technologies can compete with the fossil energy supply. Therefore, the aim of this paper is the assessment of the economic competitiveness of process heat supply by HTGR or solar tower to fossil fired processes using steam methane reforming as industrial example process. Applying a self-developed optimization model, energy economic analyses are conducted for nuclear, solar and fossil energy supply systems. The results are benchmarked with the Hydrogen Economic Evaluation Program (HEEP) of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and compared to literature values. The analyses show that hydrogen generation costs of the solar tower system are higher than those of the HTGR system. Both technologies benefit from the support of a fossil heater, as the hydrogen generation costs can be significantly reduced even with a small amount of burned natural gas. Nevertheless, a steam methane reforming process run by HTGR or by solar tower is not yet competitive to the natural gas fired hydrogen production.
[en] This paper describes internet users’ information communication behaviors at the very onset of the catastrophic 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China. Firstly, we examine how crisis communication environment changes in cyber times both in and out of China, and we identify the challenges for crisis communication managers in the network society. Secondly, Chinese netizens’ behaviors in the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake are documented based on a survey conducted immediately after the shock. We find that internet was one of the channels to acquire information during the Wenchuan earthquake, and netizens used it as a supplement to confirm information comparint to other traditional channels. Professional portals played important role in information dissemination among internet users. Governmental official agency websites were trusted by most internet users, and multiple channels were used to confirm earthquake information. Instant messengers was the primary channel for information reposting by netizens.
[en] Disaster insurance is an effective way in reducing and sharing natural disaster risk. In this paper, a special risk management model based on the cooperative insurance among the operating governments, insurance market and public is proposed. Firstly, we divided the study areas into units. In each unit, we analyze the risk stochastic process of the insurers and the operating governments, the latter providing the policy support and the subsidy. Secondly, the processes of the fixed risk initial value, the premium income, the transaction cost and the claim are all considered in the risk stochastic process of the insurers. In the risk stochastic process of the public, we consider the pure income after claim and the subsidy from the operating governments. Then, we introduce the ruin probability and stable operation of insurers, the stopping time of the ruin probability and the recovery capability of the public. The risk portfolio stochastic optimal model, which shows that each party can effectively participate in this management model, is established in order to ensure the equilibrium between the insurance supply and demand. The ruin probability, stability of insurance market and the recovery capability of the public are considered completely in this model. Finally, we conduct numerical simulation to verify the results of the models.
[en] Both classical and quantum version of two models of price competition in duopoly market, the one is realistic and the other is idealized, are investigated. The pure strategy Nash equilibria of the realistic model exists under stricter condition than that of the idealized one in the classical form game. This is the problem known as Edgeworth paradox in economics. In the quantum form game, however, the former converges to the latter as the measure of entanglement goes to infinity.