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[en] The tax laws have greatly diminished the importance of utility preferred stock. But with utility construction programs expected to rise, it is an opportune time to see if preferreds can be an attractive option again. As recently as 1980, preferred stock financing by electric utilities comprised 55% of all U.S. corporate preferred stock issued. By 1989, this percentage had declined to under 12%. In dollar amounts, electric utility preferred stock financing had decreased by two-thirds over the same time period. The author analyzes just why this decline occurred and what it portends for the future
[en] Decisions throughout the life cycle of a building, from design through construction and commissioning to operation and demolition, require the involvement of multiple interested parties (e.g., architects, engineers, owners, occupants and facility managers). The performance of alternative designs and courses of action must be assessed with respect to multiple performance criteria, such as comfort, aesthetics, energy, cost and environmental impact. Several stand-alone computer tools are currently available that address specific performance issues during various stages of a building's life cycle. Some of these tools support collaboration by providing means for synchronous and asynchronous communications, performance simulations, and monitoring of a variety of performance parameters involved in decisions about a building during building operation. However, these tools are not linked in any way, so significant work is required to maintain and distribute information to all parties. In this paper we describe a software model that provides the data management and process control required for collaborative decision making throughout a building's life cycle. The requirements for the model are delineated addressing data and process needs for decision making at different stages of a building's life cycle. The software model meets these requirements and allows addition of any number of processes and support databases over time. What makes the model infinitely expandable is that it is a very generic conceptualization (or abstraction) of processes as relations among data. The software model supports multiple concurrent users, and facilitates discussion and debate leading to decision making. The software allows users to define rules and functions for automating tasks and alerting all participants to issues that need attention. It supports management of simulated as well as real data and continuously generates information useful for improving performance prediction and understanding of the effects of proposed technologies and strategies
[en] The paper presents a planning methodology using an application of a mathematical and a rule-based expert system (ES) to expand the transmission network in open access schemes. In this methodology, the ES suggests a realistic set of generation additions with proper economic signals to the participants, before proceeding with the transmission expansion. A feasible list of transmission alternatives is then assumed to accommodate the proposals for generation. A mathematical method is performed based on marginal cost allocation to optimise the location for the new generation and its transmission expansion scheme simultaneously for each alternative. The optimum alternative, which minimises the overall system's cost function and satisfies the future demand under different operating conditions, is obtained. The ES interacts with the power system planning tools to produce the optimum expansion plan. A practical application is given to demonstrate the effectiveness of the developed prototype system. (Author)
[en] Highlights: • Literature survey: An extensive review of the studies of household fuel use in developing countries. • Microeconomic theory requires considering a broad set of decisions beyond fuel use, and sometimes the consequences of missing markets. • A better account of observed and unobserved context and household heterogeneities and over time is necessary. • The main included factors are generally: income, age and education of the household head, and the fuel prices. • The main excluded factors are generally: non-fuel prices, agricultural activities and access to energy sources. - Abstract: Owing to recent concerns about the negative externalities of traditional fuel use on the environment and health, the issue of the household fuel transition in developing countries, from dirty fuels towards clean fuels, is receiving growing research attention. This paper provides an up-to-date survey of the economic literature on household fuel use in these countries. We first present the conceptual and theoretical frameworks. Then we discuss the empirical results that show the wide range of factors that drive the household fuel transition and can be understood better by linking them with theory.
[en] The use of cost contingency in construction projects provides a lucid and lively recognition of upcoming/impending challenges of cost overrun in delivering the construction project thereby giving room for project delivery to cost. The aim of this study is to evaluate how the efficacy of cost contingency plans for construction projects can be improved. This study adopted the use of a quantitative research approach with the use of questionnaire structured to capture the perceived measures of improving the efficacy of cost contingency plans for construction projects. The study harnessed information from Construction Managers/Project Managers, Contract Managers and Quantity Surveyors in Gauteng Province, South Africa. Data retrieved was analysed using mean item score, standard deviation and Kruskal-Wallis H-test. This study was limited to Gauteng province in South Africa due to time and cost constraint. The findings showed that the three most effective measures of the efficacy of cost contingencies in construction projects are assessing risk possibilities, assessing risk impact, and identifying project risk and uncertainties. The study concluded that cost contingency plan can be improved when risks are adequately assessed together with their impact on the construction project. By recommendation, identification; definition; and evaluation of risks is a paramount activity which project professionals must embark upon before a construction project can commence. (paper)
[en] The concept and general principles of planned lifetime management (PLM) are described for optimising the total life-cycle cost of a plant or installation. The various components of PLM are described and definitions provided of the possible outputs of the corresponding techniques and tools. (UK)
[en] EMWG: Mandate and Membership: • Mandate: To develop methodology for assessment of Gen IV systems against GIF Economic Goals: → Life cycle cost advantage over other systems (lower LUEC); → Comparable financial risks (total capital investment cost (TCIC)). Extended mandate: → Maintain cognizance of challenges and opportunities for integration of Gen IV systems with renewables on the grid; → Methodologies for economic impact of integration; → R&D challenges to meet flexibility requirements. Current membership: Canada, China, France, Japan, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, the USA, IAEA (observer).
[en] In the following portions of this paper, the author reviews the definition and relationship of the probability of causation, and the need for a clear distinction between the scientific and technical factors underlying the PC approach, as contrasted with the societal factors - a distinction that tends to become confused because of overlap. He reviews the most recent development activities, showing how these may be analyzed in scientific and societal terms. He shows how the developmental bases and data requirements for the PC approach have evolved from those used for preparing radiation protection standards. A short review of arguments is given concerning probability of causation that have been raised by various litigants in recent compensation proceedings, and some preliminary estimates of projected compensation costs that could arise from various applications of the PC methodology, including inappropriate uses. Finally, the author summarizes what he considers to be key risk analysis considerations and implications for the nuclear industry
[en] The aim of this work is the analysis of the effects of the GHG external costs internalization in the energy systems. This may provide a useful tool to support decision makers to help reaching the energy systems sustain ability. External costs internalization has been carried out using two methods. First, CO2 externalities of different power generation technologies have been internalized to evaluate their effects on the economic competitiveness of these present and future technologies. The other method consisted of analysing and optimizing the global energy system, from an economic and environmental point of view, using the global energy optimization model generator, TIMES, with a time horizon of 50 years. Finally, some scenarios regarding environmental and economic strategic measures have been analysed. (Author)
[en] A study was sponsored by FEMP in 2001 - 2002 to develop methods to compare life-cycle costs of federal energy conservation projects carried out through energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) and projects that are directly funded by appropriations. The study described in this report follows up on the original work, taking advantage of new pricing data on equipment and on $500 million worth of Super ESPC projects awarded since the end of FY 2001. The methods developed to compare life-cycle costs of ESPCs and directly funded energy projects are based on the following tasks: (1) Verify the parity of equipment prices in ESPC vs. directly funded projects; (2) Develop a representative energy conservation project; (3) Determine representative cycle times for both ESPCs and appropriations-funded projects; (4) Model the representative energy project implemented through an ESPC and through appropriations funding; and (5) Calculate the life-cycle costs for each project.