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[en] Concerns about the security of oil supply in importing countries can be traced back to the very beginnings of the international oil industry. Over the last few decades, events in the Middle East have brought security of supply to the forefront of the policy agenda. In this paper, we argue that policy-making requires a clear understanding of what is meant by 'security of supply'. In turn, this must rest on an explicit characterization of the nature of supply disruptions. We examine existing characterizations, provide some of our own, and draw the implications for defining security of supply. 14 refs
[en] IGBT-based high-voltage power devices will be key components for future renewable energy base of the society. Windmills in the range up to 10 MW use converters with IGBTs. HVDC systems with IGBT-based voltage source converters have the advantage of a lower level of harmonics, less efforts for filters and more possibilities for control. The power devices need a lifetime expectation of several ten years. The lifetime is determined by the reliability of the packaging technology. IGBTs are offered packaged in presspacks and modules. The presentation will have the focus on IGBT high power modules. Accelerated power cycling tests for to determine the end-of-life at given conditions and their results are shown. models to calculate the lifetime, and actual work in research for systems with increased reliability.
[en] Previous PNNL work has shown the existing nuclear fuel markets to provide a high degree of supply security, including the ability to respond to supply disruptions that occur for technical and non-technical reasons. It is in the context of new reactor designs - that is, reactors likely to be licensed and market ready over the next several decades - that fuel supply security is most relevant. Whereas the fuel design and fabrication technology for existing reactors are well known, the construction of a new set of reactors could stress the ability of the existing market to provide adequate supply redundancy. This study shows this is unlikely to occur for at least thirty years, as most reactors likely to be built in the next three decades will be evolutions of current designs, with similar fuel designs to existing reactors.
[en] The last two decades have seen much economic and policy research devoted to understanding the causes and consequences of oil supply disruptions. Theoretical models have been developed, and past disruptions scrutinized. Surprisingly, however, scant attention has been paid to the most recent serious disruption - the Gulf Crisis of 1990-91 associated with the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and subsequent war with the Allies. This report examines the behavior of the crude oil market during the Gulf Crisis of 1990-91. The controversial issues raised by crude oil price behavior during the Crisis are several. First, why did oil prices rise so rapidly, and to such a high level, when the physical supply disruption itself was relatively modest. Why did prices decline so sharply in the middle of the crisis. How can the unprecedented volatility in the oil market be explained. Was the presence of futures trading responsible for this volatility. Or was there underlying volatility present in the market, which was exacerbated by futures trading. Or did futures markets mitigate, or have no effect on underlying price volatility
[en] Peak oil theory predicts that oil production will soon start a terminal decline. Most authors imply that no adequate alternate resource and technology will be available to replace oil as the backbone resource of industrial society. This article uses historical cases from countries that have gone through a similar experience as the best available analytical strategy to understand what will happen if the predictions of peak oil theorists are right. The author is not committed to a particular version of peak oil theory, but deems the issue important enough to explore how various parts of the world should be expected to react. From the historical record he is able to identify predatory militarism, totalitarian retrenchment, and socioeconomic adaptation as three possible trajectories. (author)
[en] The article deals with the Norwegian natural gas supply to the European Continent. The Norwegian upstream gas industry has to overcome several pressing issues at present, especially the EU Gas Directive which it believes threatens the very existence of long term contracts. Small and marginal fields will not be developed if the operators are prevented from securing investments in long term gas contracts. The various types of contracts between Norway and the different countries are discussed
[en] The paper examines the relationship between UK wholesale gas prices and the Brent oil price over the period 1996-2003 in order to investigate whether oil and gas prices 'decoupled' during this period as orthodox gas market liberalisation theory suggests. Tests for unit roots and cointegration are carried out and it is discovered that a long-run equilibrium relationship between UK gas and oil prices exists. Moreover, this relationship pre-dates the opening of the UK-Mainland Europe Interconnector. Following a recursive methodology [Hansen, H. and Johansen, S. (1999), Some tests for parameter constancy in cointegrated VAR-models, Econometrics Journal, 2, 306-333.], it was found that the cointegrating relationship is present throughout the sample period. However, the long-run solutions seem to be more volatile. Evidence is provided that the short-run relationship is linear and impulse response functions are used to examine the effects that a shock in oil would have on gas. These findings do not support the assumption that gas prices and oil prices 'decouple'. (Author)
[en] The power supply situation across Canada during the record cold temperatures that engulfed the country early in January 2004, and the measures taken by the various utility companies from British Columbia to Newfoundland to ensure power supply, are reviewed. Results of the review show that all regions of the country managed to provide power even as demand was breaking records as temperatures fell to minus 50 degrees C in many parts of the country. Serious power outages have been avoided throughout the country by the prompt response of many industrial customers when requested to reduce consumption during peak demand periods, and similar responses from residential customers to turn down thermostats, reducing lighting, not using dishwashers, washing machines and driers, and limiting hot water use during specified periods of peak consumption