Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Energy Consultation: Final Text

by afew Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 04:15:57 AM EST

Below the fold is the full text of our contribution to the Public Consultation on the European Commission's Green Paper, A European Strategy for Sustainable, Competitive and Secure Energy. This was a collaborative effort with Jérôme, Migeru, ThatBritGuy, Nomad, and a late-night heroic effort from a feverish Colman. Thanks to all, (and I hope I haven't forgotten anyone).

It was e-mailed to the Consultation address at around 2 am Brussels time. At that time, the Consultation web page already bore this message:

The software's timed to explode at the last stroke of midnight and turn us into pumpkins? Let's hope they don't have an e-mail filter set for midnight too...

It may be a bit of a wodge, please excuse. Getting it from writeboard's HTML to Scoop-approved HTML was something I'm in no hurry to do again.


Green Paper: A European Strategy for Sustainable, Competitive and Secure Energy

Contribution to the Public Consultation by the European Tribune

The European Tribune (http://www.eurotrib.com) is an open online forum for civic debate, with a strong focus on European issues. We consider the formulation of a European energy policy a vital and urgent matter about which all European citizens should be well informed and in which they should be actively involved. But the approach of the current consultation falls short of this goal, and demonstrates instead a top-down approach to policy-making. We believe that this is more likely to foster political apathy and resentment, instead of the consent, support and active participation of citizens that will be needed in what may be a time of stress and change for the entire European Union.

Furthermore, although the consultation appears to support conservation and the promotion of renewables, it does this by presupposing a policy of economic liberalization. We believe this makes the document inconsistent and unlikely to be useful for building a strong European energy policy.

Our position is that effective policy must focus on true conservation and demand reduction. This requires a realistic appraisal of the necessary role of public authorities in the energy sector, both for investment decisions and for the management of relationships with external fuel suppliers.

So while the main focus of the Green Paper is, quite properly, to try to define what should be the main objectives of a European energy policy, its approach is flawed: it is predicated upon an ideological bias towards ‘liberalisation’, the benefits of which are presented without convincing case studies, references or proof.

As a result of these flaws, the stated objectives (sustainability, competitiveness, security of supply) are incompatible with each other, incoherent, and impossible to realise.

We discuss these flaws in more detail below.

1. The interference of market ideology

Too much of the Green Paper is ideologically, rather than factually, oriented. Expressions of market ideology are often stated with no discussion or justification. For example, in the introduction, (page 3), in a series of bullet points that lay out undeniable facts such as:

  • Our import dependency is rising
  • Global demand for energy is rising
  • Oil and gas prices are rising
we are told :

Europe has not yet developed fully competitive internal energy markets. Only when such markets exist will EU citizens and businesses enjoy all the benefits of security of supply and lower prices. (...) Furthermore, the consolidation of the energy sector should be market driven…

This is presented as a declaration of fact, when it is a debatable, and far from generally accepted, proposition, as the various attempts by Member States to bring about the creation of “national champions” have demonstrated recently. On page 4 a single internal market for energy is indeed offered as an open question:

Is there agreement on the fundamental importance of a genuine single market to support a common European strategy for energy?

but, on page 18, an unequivocal response is given:

The EU needs to complete the internal gas and electricity markets.
(...)
These must be addressed as a priority; the Commission will reach final conclusions on any additional measures that need to be taken to ensure the rapid completion of genuinely competitive, European-wide electricity and gas markets, and present concrete proposals by the end of this year.

This has now become a declaration of intent to act rapidly. Between the two the only justification for the need for further liberalisation is a sermon rather than factual analysis:

Sustainable, competitive and secure energy will not be achieved without open and competitive energy markets, based on competition between companies looking to become European-wide competitors rather than dominant national players. Open markets, not protectionism, will strenghten Europe and allow it to tackle its problems. A truly competitive single European electricity and gas market would bring down prices, improve security of supply and boost competitiveness. It would also help the environment, as companies react to competition by closing energy inefficient plant.

We feel it is necessary to restate the definition of a European Commission Green Paper (our emphasis):

Green papers are discussion papers published by the Commission on a specific policy area. Primarily they are documents addressed to interested parties – organisations and individuals – who are invited to participate in a process of consultation and debate. In some cases they provide an impetus for subsequent legislation. The consultations can be accessed on the Your voice in Europe site.

White papers are documents containing proposals for Community action in a specific area. They sometimes follow a green paper published to launch a consultation process at European level. While green papers set out a range of ideas presented for public discussion and debate, white papers contain an official set of proposals in specific policy areas and are used as vehicles for their development.

We have complained previously (in an Open Letter which is attached to this message) about the biased nature of the Public Consultation on the Energy Green Paper, and we will give one more example here. In Question 1 of the Consultation, the issue of the internal energy market is presented in the following biased way:

1. In order to achieve the goal of a genuine single market, what new measures should be taken…?

The single market is not presented as a subject for discussion. It is a predefined goal, assent for which is assumed.

The Energy Directorate seems to have confused green paper with white, and the on-line poll used as part of the public consultation process is badly flawed if it is intended to elicit the opinions of citizens.

2. The incoherence of the stated objectives

The goals of a European energy policy are stated to be (i) sustainability, (ii) competitiveness and (iii) security of supply. The aims listed under sustainability (developing renewable and low carbon energy sources, curbing demand, working to limit climate change) and security of supply (diversifying, encouraging investment to meet growing demand, coping with emergencies, helping European companies getting access to global resources, ensuring that all have access to energy) are goals ones we fully subscribe to – indeed these are the objectives that Europe must set itself to guarantee stability and growth.

But there is an incompatibility between wanting to reduce demand and investing to meet growing demand at the same time. The goals should be to “reduce demand” and to “encourage investment to meet the appropriate level of demand”.

The items included under competitivity are not energy policy goals: they assert the assumption that market mechanisms are the only possible solutions. A more realistic and fact-based approach would propose them as one possible tool that may — under certain favourable economic conditions — help achieve the stated objectives. Different policy tools should be analysed in several likely scenarios involving uncontrollable external factors.

Similarly, ”Ensuring that energy market opening brings benefits to consumers and to the economy as a whole, while stimulating investment in clean energy production and energy efficiency” (p.17) is not a clear policy definition or a valid strategic goal, but an ideological preference moving forward under the camouflage of appropriately consensual language.

An objective and fair assessment of market mechanisms shows that, to a large extent, they are incompatible with the real policy objectives stated under (i) sustainability, and (iii) security of supply.

Consider the example of the electricity market and of the natural gas market with which electricity is increasingly tied as a result of past policy choices. As in other markets, the sale price of electricity is equal to its cost to the seller plus the seller’s margin.

Market liberalisation, which allows for more competition, has two effects: to reduce the sellers’ margins, and, if the conditions are right, to encourage lower-cost producers to join the market. The latter requires additional analysis, as the cost of electricity production is quite complex and incorporates several very different components, namely:
  • the initial investment, and the discount rate used to amortise it over the life of the power plant;
  • the fuel costs (for those power plants that need a fuel, like coal, natural gas or uranium);
  • the operating costs of running plants safely and efficiently;
  • network-imposed costs, such as balancing requirements or spare capacity availability, if imposed by regulation;
  • the externalities, i.e. the cost imposed on society by the power plant (pollution, carbon emissions, impact on landscape, etc…), if internalised by regulation.

This list shows that power prices are influenced by several things:

  • in the liberalised world advocated by the Green Paper, fuel costs are essentially imposed on Europe by global markets. In practice Europe has some influence (i) if it acts on its internal demand for the fuel, thereby affecting the overall market equilibrium or (ii) by negotiating long-term contracts with pre-agreed price formulas with outside suppliers;
  • operating costs are controlled by market players, but constitute a small part of total cost;
  • network costs and externality costs depend exclusively on regulation by public authorities, whether at the national or European level.

Costs should reflect policy objectives. ”Working to limit climate change” would suggest that prices should account for greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions by the power sector, via emissions trading certificates, carbon taxes, or similar mechanisms. These need not be mutually exclusive, and should also be analysed rationally with a view to establishing how effective each tool is likely to be. ”Developing renewable energy sources” suggests that network regulations should not penalise these sources for their intermittence and spread the corresponding cost to other producers.

A proven way to ”curb demand” is to increase taxes on consumption of that good. Ensuring ”access to energy” and ensuring ”solidarity” (pp. 5 & 9) suggests regulation of prices (to avoid price peaks under market mechanisms). It also implies supply obligations towards those who might not otherwise be supplied under pure market mechanisms, whether for technical or contractual reasons.

Public leadership rather than market action is required to implement these aims if the Green Paper’s objectives are to be fulfilled.

The conflicting impacts of these various objectives and the tools to implement them are not discussed in the Green Paper – in fact they are not even acknowledged, when they should be the core topics of the debate.

3. Points missing from the Green Paper that should be discussed

The following questions are never discussed and must be an essential part of a Green Paper discussing energy policy choices:

  • Competitiveness

An important point to discuss is the criteria needed to judge if a market is “competitive”. Should it be absolute price levels? Share of imports? Market share of non-incumbents? Share of sales made by foreign companies? How is the market territory which is most relevant defined? How does one take into account explicit policy choices such as: carbon taxes, support for renewable energies, regulatory burden, etc?

  • Price peaks

Should price peaks, a frequent occurrence in electricity markets, be passed on to consumers? If so, how is that compatible with the goal of “making sure that all citizens and businesses have access to energy”? Who will take the political heat of justifying such peaks? If peaks should not be passed on, the problems of who should be protected from them, and who should bear the cost of that protection, need to be discussed.

  • Technology choices

If each Member State continues to have a say in the technologies it wants to encourage or restrict, how can such choices be justified, either under market rules already prevailing, or those that the EU wants to impose? If they can’t be justified, who will decide which technologies are favoured? If that decision is left purely to the market, we must face the likely consequence that hydrocarbon-burning technologies will be favoured because they require less capital outlay.

  • Nuclear

In the specific case of nuclear power, which seems to be mildly supported by the Green Paper, there is no clear discussion of who should decide if it is to be encouraged or not. If it is encouraged (as part of policies favouring zero-carbon generation), how is this going to be (i) financed, (ii) supervised and (iii) who is going to deal with the waste? Will this be done at a European level or, as is most likely in view of the differences in public opinion, on a country by country basis? And if Member State involvement in any of the above is authorised, how is this made compatible with (a) the denationalisation of the regulatory framework and (b) the explicit ban on public support for investors?

  • Long-term contracts

One of the tools that are used to improve stability and security of supply (and, to some extent, protect from short term prices shocks) are long-term contracts. EU policy has been to fight these tooth and nail in recent years on the spurious grounds that they are incompatible with “market liberalisation.” That policy needs to be discussed publicly. Should it be changed so that long-term contracts are encouraged? What is the evidence for or against the efficacy of these contracts? If they are encouraged, who will be given the opportunity to negotiate them?

  • Russia

Who will be responsible for defining policy towards Russia’s exports of oil and gas to the EU? Without alternative energy supplies, these are set to become a vital strategic resource, but the EU policy seems confused about how negotiations should be handled. Where should the main diplomatic and economic interface be? With those who consume the most gas? Those who import the most gas in proportion to their consumption? Those who import the most Russian gas (in volume or in proportion)? Those who have otherwise close diplomatic links with Russia? Those who have access to the Russian pipelines? How should existing elements, like long-term contracts, storage capacity, pipeline infrastructure, and financial structures, be evaluated?

If dependency on Russian gas is a major problem, then perhaps we should discuss active measures to reduce demand, and decide whether these should apply in priority to the power sector, the industrial sector or to residential users? Should those who have only recently switched to gas be treated differently from those who have relied on gas for a long time (either because they have domestic supplies, or longstanding supply arrangements)? How should domestic supplies be taken into account? Should countries with domestic supplies be allowed to regulate production levels? Should taxes on domestic European production be collected at the European level (by the EU-wide regulator) or at national level?

  • Import dependency

Looking beyond the sole case of Russia, we note that the EU's indigenous sources cover about half of its energy consumption at the moment. This coverage will fall off drastically as indigenous fuels like oil and natural gas dwindle, and as demand rises – as projected by the Green Paper. Renewables and nuclear are "indigenous"? energy sources (to the extent that uranium is readily available) and biomass, including second-generation biofuels, can be developed. But, by and large we depend on imports of oil and, increasingly, natural gas. This dependence will increase in future.

Gas prices traditionally tend to follow oil prices, but the tighter link with electricity markets and the emergence of global arbitrage via LNG prices are making it a more and more separate market. However suppliers are increasingly the same in both cases (Russia, as noted above, North Africa, Gulf of Guinea and Persian Gulf producers).

The Green Paper offers some wishful thinking on the future availability of oil (120mbd global production in 20-25 years), but admits:

it remains an open question at which price oil will be made available to the global market under a "1.5-2% annual increase"? scenario. (Working Document, p. 20)

Yet oil consumption is predicted, in the Working Document, at a similar level in 2030 as in 2000, with natural gas at a much higher level (and imported gas at double its present level).

These future scenarios seem oddly detached from the objectives supposedly set for Europe’s energy policy (reduce demand, focus on security of supply.) They also ignore policies that would presumably be put in place to meet these aims (move away from gas-fired power plants, switch transport away from oil-burning, penalise hydrocarbon use).

As a result, the assumption that the EU will be able to rely on low-priced gas in the future is extremely improbable. Very simply, there is no reason why Russia, Algeria or others should agree to arrangements that go against their national interest. Oil prices will rise dramatically over the next 20-30 years. Gas prices will rise with them.

This is a key strategic fact. It needs to be analysed realistically, and planned for. In this area particularly, vague appeals to market ideology are not a substitute for focussed, informed and insightful policy determination.

Very few of these questions are analysed in the Green Paper, and yet they hide a wealth of fundamental policy choices. The implied policy choices of the Green Paper, which focus more than anything on market liberalisation, go against most of the stated objectives of the same Green Paper. The very worthy objectives with respect to renewable energy, energy efficiency, ability to withstand supply shocks and climate change, are not supported by more detailed proposals that would allow the EU to move measurably towards these goals.

Fundamentally, the Green Paper cannot reconcile market “liberalisation” with the need to forcefully regulate the sector to promote effective strategic public-sector solutions for EU-wide energy policy, thus:

Renewables require taxation of the polluting alternatives, subsidies, and a supportive legal and financial framework.

Efficiency requires public action to define standards, assertive definition and enforcement of efficiency goals, supported by public funding of R&D, and also by monetary incentives.

Security of supply requires direct public intervention in the market to negotiate long term commitments, and foster diplomatic/commercial relations.

Markets, with their proven record of rigidity, short-termism, and severely limited strategic vision, cannot attain these goals without strong public sector oversight and policy direction.

4. Our proposal

Demand reduction must be the the first focus of an EU energy policy. Energy prices will continue to rise as both EU demand and that of others such as China and India increases in an environment where either supplies struggle to keep pace with demand or, in the optimistic case, they are available from a small number of producers with strong leverage over us. Internal energy market liberalisation is not going to change that geopolitical fact: it may actually aggravate it by channeling investment towards gas-burning power plants, increasing our exposure to imports and thus decreasing security of supply and increasing the risk of high electricity prices through marginal cost pricing. Market forces do not always produce lower prices.

Demand reduction can be obtained through energy efficiency, and new technology, which the Green Paper is right to focus on. Unfortunately these topics never make it into the headlines: we need less of “Barroso takes whip to energy monopolies” (Financial Times, 12 September) and more (for example) “Barroso takes whip to high energy consumption”, or “Barroso takes whip to industry failure on renewables”, or “Barroso takes whip to industry neglect of recycling”.

An effective energy efficiency policy will require large-scale education campaigns, coercive measures to lower consumption, setting tougher standards for energy-consuming goods and changing building regulations to force the construction industry to focus on energy efficiency. It would mean Community-wide programmes to inform and explain, and to start genuine public discussion of the issues. The institutions of the EU and those of Member States should work together on this with NGOs and representatives of civil society. These measures and the research and development associated with them would encourage new jobs and investment in the technologies required to deal with the changes in the economic landscape caused by rising energy prices and give the EU an opportunity to become a world leader in this area.

But energy efficiency will not be enough. If we wish to be free of dependence on imports and of rising prices, then we will simply have to reduce energy consumption.

This means a different transport policy. It is surprising that the Energy Green Paper makes no mention of this. It is urgent to make an absolute priority of rail and water for freight (with an end to all talk of prioritising air and road), and to invest in first-rate, attractive public passenger transport. The policy must have teeth, with strong, EU-wide taxes against road transport and massive funding for rail and river transport projects.

It also means tax incentives to reduce energy consumption, and, more generally, significantly higher taxes on energy – either as it is consumed, or upon import in the EU (to encourage domestic sources) – with the funds to be used in the public transport projects and to kickstart a continent-wide R&D programme on energy-saving technology.

As a final and all-encompassing point, an energy policy must acknowledge that energy is a strategic concern, and thus that it requires attention from the bodies in charge of the public interest, i.e. national governments and the EU institutions. Intervention in markets is not an evil to be fought, it is useful, necessary, and should be encouraged, explained – and carried out transparently, after public debate of the real stakes.

We have a choice between carrying this out in an open, democratic manner, with public involvement in building stable, long-term policy, or finding ourselves abruptly obliged to think again by price rises that force the issue while hurting the least fortunate of our fellow-citizens. Member States and their public opinions will naturally react to such emergencies without consideration for the Community level, because, if it does not acknowledge what’s at stake, the EU runs the risk of failing to build credibility on the issues.

Display:
Fantastic work, afew (and supporting cast)!!!

But is the door really slammed shut?? Can we still submit this somehow?

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 04:47:22 AM EST
Jérôme put in a great amount of this, so I'm more in the supporting cast.

It was sent during the night, so they'll find it in their e-mail this morning. If they don't accept it for a two-hour delay, imo, that would be... Well, you name it.

What is tricky is that (as we saw) the procedure did not specifically allow for a freely-drafted response. So they are not putting contributions up on their web site, as was the case for the Biofuels Consultation. They did tell Colman (by e-mail) a freely-drafted contribution would be accepted, so I hope this will be. How we will know is problematic...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:32:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Great job, tip hat.
p.s. .pdf file available?

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 04:50:34 AM EST
Will send.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:26:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My paragraph on financing costs did not make it to the final version?


- the financing cost would appear to be the least contentious. After all, a level playing field in that respect (via the interdiction of public guarantees for producers) should allow the best technologies to be chosen. In fact, that apparent policy neutrality is nothing but. The discount rate is actually the single most important determinant of which technology is competitive and which one is not.

That comes form the fact that hydrocarbon-burning technologies tend to have much lower initial investment costs for a given production capacity, whereas renewable energies and nuclear, which have nil or low fuel costs, require much larger initial investment outlays. That means that, all other things being equal, a higher financing rate favors coal-fire and gas-fired plants, and a lower interest rate favors nuclear and wind. Choosing to finance the energy sector by the financial markets and not by States thus creates a structural bias towards coal-fired and gas-fired plants, as private sector investors need to pay higher interest rates than sovereign or sovereign-backed entities.

To show how significant the interest rate is, here are some calculations made by the French Ministry of industry:

http://www.eurotrib.com/files/3/060305_gen._centralis_e_impact_taux_escompte_DGEMP.jpg
http://www.eurotrib.com/files/3/060305_co_tsoliens_selon_heures_et_tx_escompte_DGEMP.jpg

Changing from a 5% rate (typically the rate at which governments or public bodies can use to borrow long term) to 8% (a more typical rate for the private sector) increases costs:

  •    for gas-fired plants by less than 5%
  •    for coal-fired plants by a bit more than 10%
  •    for nuclear plants by more than 30%
  •    for windpower by just under 20%

Thus equal interest rates are not enough to compare competing power sources, the absolute level chosen matters as well.

It is thus not neutral at all to promote, as current European policy does, private ownership of generation assets (and to more specifically forbid State support), as it will always skew investments towards gas-fired and coal-fired plants, unless you have specific regulations or subsidies that encourage investments in other sectors like renewables or nuclear.

Did it get lost in the way or did you take it out?
Any chance to re-add it?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:33:34 AM EST
I think this was one of the most important points in our letter.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:34:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Was that in the "urgent new doc"? I never got around to adding that to the writeboard because of software problems on my end.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:00:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I never saw that paragraph in my edits last night ...
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:39:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It was in v5 (http://123.writeboard.com/e26edcf74bbb7f566/v/show/1301265) and somehow got lost along the way, together with other stuff. I added back what I thought was missing, but I obviously missed that paragraph.

So, what was sent and in what form?

I have a couple of names of people we could send the final version to anyway. I'd be keen to send it again with that paragraph. See v5 linked above to see where it was positioned in the text.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:49:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Between v5 and v6 it was replaced by
(Here is Jerome's rough draft of the following bit:)


Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:03:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That was me but I didn't delete that very considerable paragraph before: I added the next section.

As I say below, there were inexplicable problems later between version 8, which included your language edits and mine, and version 11 where they had disappeared. We probably have to be careful to flag good versions and communicate in comments about what we are doing or have done.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:07:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What was sent and in what form?

The text above was sent as a PDF. I'll send the PDF out to the co-workers now. I'd have done so earlier but it took me an age to adapt the html (from writeboard) for Scoop.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:13:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No one took it out, Jérôme.

I don't know what happened between your TXT.rtf file (sent by e-mail) and what you put up in writeboard, but there were differences. I asked you for confirmation that this (in writeboard) was your latest draft as compared with TXT.rtf. Perhaps you didn't see that comment, because you didn't reply. (See for this writeboard two, PW energygp2, document version 4, and my first comment on the thread).

Migeru pointed out that there was a back-reference to this explanation (above) while the explanation wasn't in the text, but you didn't react to that either. I could only assume you had cut this part. If you really wanted to put it in, then it's a pity, but I don't think anyone but you could have sorted this out.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:54:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems (now I have compared versions) that I inadvertently crushed it when adding your draft of the next section. I certainly didn't mean to take it out.

I think we have to be very careful with drafts when working close on one another. There were problems later in the day, if you remember, where a version got crushed. Unfortunately, in this case, you didn't notice that part had gone. I don't recall having seen it (and it has links that go off the right margin, I think I'd have noticed).

My apologies, Jérôme. I'm really sorry it's missing.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:04:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can an "amended version" be sent in saying that a key paragraph was lost in the drafting? [We'd be correcting an important erratum, basically]

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:08:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No doubt that's what we should do.

Jérôme, do we take it you're not available to make this edit yourself?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:17:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd assume he wasn't...
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:18:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So I'll do it now.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:29:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He's at a professional conference all day today.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:27:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, please do it. As I said, I'll drop by at random times, but not reliably.

We should just send an updated version - maybe that can be an opportunity to add signatories like we did in the earlier Open Letter - if you agree, would you make the request in the diary?

And I'm sorry I missed the absence of the paragraph yesterday evening.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:35:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For the moment it has no signatories, it's sent as a collective contribution from European Tribune.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:39:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, my name has an ó and an Á. I say this only because I saw DoDo's name has a properly accented é in the list of signatories of the open letter.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:41:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope that's a joke.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 07:06:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it's a typo.

Don't fret, in the context of this discussion you could take it as a joke...

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 07:11:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think your name as it comes in the e-mail "From" has no accents (am I wrong?). DoDo's does. There's in fact another accent on his name that I couldn't do quickly, so it didn't get done...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 07:18:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, yes, I've spent 6 years stuck with English keyboards... DoDo told me the necessary keystrokes at some point but I forgot...

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 07:23:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean this?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 08:22:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, that.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 08:24:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Grrrr! Alt-160.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 08:15:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've added it, with minor language edits, to writeboard one, PW energygp1

  1. the jpegs Jérôme links to are wide, I don't know how they will show in a PDF.

  2. There are two additional paragraphs compared to the text Jérôme posted above. Should they be there?

  3. I would appreciate language editing from whoever is available.

  4. When it's done, can you PDF it, Colman?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 07:14:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know about the JPEGs... What to do depends on the software Colman uses to convert the text to PDF.

I did one round of language editing. What's with the 'h1' and 'h2' text before the headlines?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 07:25:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
h2 etc some formatting I didn't check.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 07:29:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll do a language run and PDF it. Is it ready now?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 07:33:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, Jerome has had his go at it. I just moved two paragraphs. If you disagree with the change you can undo it.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 07:37:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I took out my bad header formatting and corrected the tiny print bullet points. Finished for me.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 07:48:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You just made version 13 identical to version 10!

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 07:49:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I made version 14 from version 12 by removing the rogue "h1" and "h2" formatting tags.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 07:52:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the two paragraphs you moved further down are back up? If you do move them, they's need to be amended to fit with those nearby.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 07:54:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They're back where they were.

There is in fact no trace of me moving them in the first place.

Are people abusing the "minor change: don't save a new version" feature?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 07:57:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Didn't move any paragraphs at all. If they're the two that were at the end of the inserted piece, I asked about them above.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 08:03:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm talking about the existing two paragraphs immediately before the insertion.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 08:05:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Public leadership..." and the paragraph in bold?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 08:11:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If those are the two you mean, I left them where they were in version 5 (writeboard 2) where Jérôme himself left them - before the insertion on financial costs.

I have now seen so many edits I don't know what they mean any more.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 08:16:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jérôme, if the two paragraphs you mean are "Public leadership..." and the following paragraph in bold ending "...core topics of the debate", they were before the "financial costs" insertion in version 5 yesterday.

They seem better at the end of Section Two, leading on to the missing questions in the GP.

Should they be moved down there? (i.e. at the end, not the beginning, of the insertion?)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 08:29:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The text is now as Jerome left it.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 08:35:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In fact it hasn't changed, I don't know what he means about moving down and back up.

However, don't those two paragraphs make more sense at the end of the insertion rather than the beginning? Meaning, as a lead on to Section Three, the missing questions?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 08:40:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I saw a version (Migeru's) where they were brought down, which did make sense. I was simply suggesting to slightly update their wording to make them fit with the following sentences a bit better.

Do as you care to.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 09:29:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I made an edit and left a comment.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 09:36:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Me too, practically on top of yours. I left a comment.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 09:49:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As far as I can see, these two paragraphs have not moved in any version.

I'm beginning to wonder how we see what it is we see and then we don't...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 08:37:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Someone tell me when I can produce a final version.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 08:40:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Will do. Not yet.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 08:42:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I did move them.

I'm wondering whether people tick the "minor edit" box when they shouldn't, or what a genuine edit conflict looks like.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 08:42:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Huh?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 08:47:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to waste time on it, but your version 11 has them in the same place. If I inadvertently used my verson 10 that became version 13, it wouldn't concern your 11, presumably. And you put the drafts back on the right track in 14. Which has them in the same place.

The question is, is it right to move them down?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 08:55:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I did move them down. There is now no version that shows them down. I am puzzled by that, someone (maybe even me) must have overwritten the version that had them down instead of creating a new version. I think there's an issue with the "minor edits" or with edit conflicts.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 08:58:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Even a minor edit changes the name, I think I noticed (unless, of course, it's your own, as you say).

But I am beginning to wonder about conflicts, since we have had several that are really inexplicable.

I certainly didn't delete this financial costs piece by Jérôme, for example. I would not delete a piece as substantial without referring to the author. And when you pointed out that it was missing, I would have remembered and said I took it out for one reason or another. I wonder if he and I were editing close in time to one another and one version scrambled the other.

And Jérôme didn't see the version that resulted from your copy-editing, then mine...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 09:05:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I just deleted a double "the" in a minor edit, which changed the credits from Jerome to DoDo.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 09:17:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've done a couple small edits in the nearby area of text, plus added the source for the two tables.

I expect the 2 tables can be reduced easily in a Word document, which is presumalby used to create the pdf?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 07:34:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Word? To produce a PDF? Nah. I'm just printing from Safari.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 08:15:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Afew, did you just undo Jerome's and my changes? Versions 13 and 10 are now identical.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 07:48:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 08:13:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Nomad on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 08:33:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 08:35:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Comment on format: I always favour more a chapter like structure, creating a new page for each header. The header of section 4 "Our Proposal" is now the last line on page 7 - not a place where it could easily draw readers' attention. Any time left for that or is it good as is?
by Nomad on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 08:41:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Matti Vainio, Acting Head of Energy and Environment Unit, DG Environment, European Commission.

I'll try to get his business card today. (He just spoke at the conference I am attending)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:51:31 AM EST
His surname is Väiniö - Jérôme

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:15:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, I could not guess from the way his name is on his business card...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:35:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The scourge of anglicization!

Even Ahlström - a leading Finnish paper products company that is one of the last family-owned empires has now dropped the umlaut.

BTW his name didn't come up on a google search of Finnish sites - maybe he himself is not a true-bred Finn? (We have been known to interbreed)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:44:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and told him about the paper. We should definitely send him a copy of the final paper:

matti(dot)vainio(@)ec(dot)europa(dot)eu

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:37:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
to submit the document to the media for wider dissemination, in particular by submitting to one of the news aggregators?

It would be in the form of a Press Release by ET. The 'wires' regularly carry such releases as a matter of everyday business.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:10:58 AM EST
Do you know where to send it to? Can you do it?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:52:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I know the Finnish wire service STT. They have a press release service. Similar organizations exist in every country.

http://www.stt.fi/en/additional_services/services_for_media/media-services/press-release-service.htm l

I will contact the MD for more info and get back to you.

But I assume that, providing they feel secure about the source, we could supply journalistically professional documents as Press releases which would be put on their service for free. They need content!

To this end, we could point them to ET and present sample documents from the last year. I suggest we would limit our contributions to Energy papers only at first.

In my experience, there are three types of press releases:

  • What we call 'Puff' or promotional material that is vaguely commercial advertising. These tend to go into the database and are only referenced when a journalist may be researching something in the archives . UNLESS it is a hot topic or celebrity

  • Informational releases (such as the latest ET document) which a journalist may use as one of the sources to write their own article (often quoting the sources - which would be useful to us)

  • Releases written as ready articles which lazy journalists can 'steal' wholesale, either by translating to another language or changing a few sentences to make it their own. These are better at getting the information out there, but often the sources are not quoted.


You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 09:21:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I now got the time to read this. Had I been around before the deadline, I would have changed a few points, but now it doesn't matter. So just great work, afew et al!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 08:49:41 AM EST
Proof-reading at the last possible momemnt while hanging sleep-drunk above the keyboard is contributing these days?

I can send the renewed version to a few MEPs, if that would be interesting.

by Nomad on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 08:58:39 AM EST
I too see from the comments that more work is on on a modified version, so question to afew and Colman: until when do I have time to propose changes, and changes of what depth?

I would (in increasing order of scope and time needed)

  • make some additions/modifications to the paragraphs on transport,
  • question Jérôme about that line on indigenous uranium,
  • make a less implicit reference to feed-in laws,
  • addemphasis for deviation from market pricing for social reasons,
  • the biggest change: I think the anti-marketista line of argument spreads too wide over the document. It seems to be the focus of not just the first but all chapters, with some loose switching between criticism of ideological advocacy from the Green Paper and our own advocacy of alternatives. These alternatives are often in a dualistic contrast with freemarketism, whereas one could argue f.e. showcasing that markets being determined by conditions which include policy choices, including doing nothing.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 09:16:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At this level, imo, only Jérôme can give you a reply as to content.

As to time, it would be good to get this off soon if we want them to take it into account.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 09:20:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Except on transport - if you have useful things to add, I felt it wasn't very full there, so go ahead now.

The markets point may be right, but it would mean an awful lot of editing now and then people eyeballing it...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 09:26:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll drop the markets point then, will focus on the others. The transport stuff will be at most two half-sentences and a few words.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 11:40:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
transport - go ahead, but let's not make it too detailed, because we're not providing much detail on anything else in that part

uranium - yes, it's not indigenous - my parenthesis was just to blunt that assumption. If you have better wording, feel free (without engaging into a peak-uranium debate right now...)

feed-in: where? sounds good to me

deviation: sounds good. A line on this would be fine

anti-marketista: what do you suggest?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 09:37:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jérôme, version 17 should now be right as to the two-paragraphs affair.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 09:56:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See here for more discussion with DoDo.

I suggest it's too late for today (office hours). We should aim at getting it in tomorrow (late) morning at the latest.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 11:35:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
About uranium, I guessed there is something with the wording I couldn't get.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 11:41:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo, are you around? Are you going to edit?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 10:23:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll try my best from around 19h.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 11:39:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just to comment on this part of DoDo's coment:

the biggest change: I think the anti-marketista line of argument spreads too wide over the document. It seems to be the focus of not just the first but all chapters, with some loose switching between criticism of ideological advocacy from the Green Paper and our own advocacy of alternatives. These alternatives are often in a dualistic contrast with freemarketism, whereas one could argue f.e. showcasing that markets being determined by conditions which include policy choices, including doing nothing.

I think this may be an important point, but it also the criticism has to be made, and sometimes it is less effective to say it once earler in a paragraph, than to suggest examples as you go along. I realize your point, DoDo, that it makes it sound too criticism of ideology foccused, but it is also legitimate...they do it in their origninal document.

To completely edit out the "criticism" it would also require some heavy editing (and a lot of time and effort, I would think)...and I don't think anyone who has done heavy lifting on this in the last two days should try that.  So unless someone is into a pot of coffee...

The other option is to add a brief preface that acknowledges the quandry of trying to respond to a paper technicaly when it is full of ideology, and say we are forced to point out the inconsistences, even as we try to respond to the questions of the paper. Then it is maybe just a question of saying "here's one of those points, but anyway...", rather tahn having to do a whole re-write late at night, with time pressure on.

To me, it is readable, gives important views/information, and makes the point. Perhaps different formatting, as Nomad suggested (chapters) might be more effective too...but again, can that be done reasonably simply, or are we talking about heavy changes?

My opinion is that we  view this  as a learning process, in that we can be aware of these issues that we have identified with upcoming papers (since they will probably have the same or similar problems)...and really focus on putting this paper to bed.  

My ten cents worth...but it could save some time...

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 12:39:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are several software solutions to the problem of collaborative editing which is common in my business. I don't know if you can implement them here.

The most important capabilities are: any edits must be side by side with the original for fast comparison, editors must be identified, and the text of each version is numbered using autonumbering for each stacked level of headlines, subs, paras and subparas . and bullet points etc.

With the latter it is much faster to locate the text commented upon, using the number. It helps to track any shifts in text order also.

I only know commercial software that does these things (and much more) for this purpose. But I am sure there is an Open Source version of it out there.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:12:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We actually cheat by simply sending out acrobat pdfs which allow positional commenting by author. Then a new version is sent out with the collated revisions. The process goes on until all recipients 'sign' the document.

But this process assumes that one or more members of the approval group have exclusive editing rights. Only commentary is allowed if you don't have edit rights. The document can be locked in different ways.

But comments can be quite long - people often paste whole paras that they've rewritten into comments - and that makes it easier for the editor too - copypaste.

This process is perfect also for visuals and layouts. Pointing a comment at exactly what you are commenting is much easier than explaining in words to what you are referring. You can do this in Photoshop too but the files get so damn big, and people get itchy about interfering physically in the layout without competence. So a pdf is more secure.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:24:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I had less time for this, I did what I could so far. Any comments?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 04:56:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your comments are good.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:07:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This
Spreading the remaining extra costs with the help of guaranteed purchase at fixed higher prices (feed-in laws) also creates a market that spurs development by competition of renewables producers among themselves.
needs to be rewritten...

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:16:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For what deficiency?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:18:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is not how people write unless they are being tortured.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:25:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, being tired could count for bewing tortured... so I pass up re-wording to someone else.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:32:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]

The development of a market for competition among renewables producers is also created by the feed-in laws. These spread the remaining additional costs utilising the advantage of guaranteed purchase at fixed higher prices.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:33:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Someone is torturing Sven! Help!

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:43:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's the best I could do with the words you gave me ;-)

If I understood it I could do wonders with it by a rewrite.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:48:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm in the same position. I just haven't been tortured enough to make me talk yet.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:49:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is presented as a declaration of fact, when it is a debatable, and far from generally accepted, proposition, as the various attempts by Member States to bring about the creation of "national champions" have demonstrated recently.
Here's another sentence that doesn't quite ring right.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:57:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"If at first you don't succeed" divide up into shorter sentences.

I am not averse to tinkling out the commas myself in ET, as I am not allowed to do it in professional writing. But the above sentence is a comma too far; especially after 'accepted'

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:24:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, too many staccato clauses and too many commas. The question is where to cut to make two separate sentences.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:25:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is presented as a declaration of fact, when it is a debatable, and far from generally accepted, proposition. This was demonstrated recently in the form of various attempts by Member States to bring about the creation of "national champions".

BTW, check the comments at the writeboard.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:26:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
when it is a debatable, and a far from generally accepted proposition.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:29:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmmm... now this sounds tortured for me!

The first sentence doesn't fit into the context, as my original "also" referred to a half-sentence on spreading costs in the previous sentence (written probably by Jérôme). I used 'extra cost' to denote price above market price, I'm not sure 'additional cost' covers that meaning. The 'guaranteed purchase at fixed higher prices' directly does the spreading of costs, "utilising the advantage of" just doesn't sound right.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:14:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't grew any less tired (as showcased by misremewmbering where I used an "also"...), but here is an attempt:

Spreading the remaining above-market-price costs with the help of feed-in laws, that is guaranteed purchase at fixed higher prices, also spurs development: it creates a market for competition of renewables producers among themselves.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:21:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm using that.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:24:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All good. In the part that's subsequent to your final edit, maybe I would have added that tax incentives for energy consumption reduction in transport (3rd paragraph from the end) could be at both citizen and corporate level ... but perhaps that's already inferred / obvious to all.
by Alex in Toulouse on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:24:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am giving this thing another read. This quotation from the Green Paper
Sustainable, competitive and secure energy will not be achieved without open and competitive energy markets, based on competition between companies looking to become European-wide competitors rather than dominant national players. Open markets, not protectionism, will strenghten Europe and allow it to tackle its problems. A truly competitive single European electricity and gas market would bring down prices, improve security of supply and boost competitiveness. It would also help the environment, as companies react to competition by closing energy inefficient plant.
is really something. Is there a way to point out that the word "compete" is used 7 times in 4 sentences without being an asshole about it?

This has been bothering me for a while, and I only just figured out why

the issue of the internal energy market is presented in the following biased way:
1. In order to achieve the goal of a genuine single market, what new measures should be taken...?
The single market is not presented as a subject for discussion. It is a predefined goal, assent for which is assumed.
The "single market" [sic] is a key component of the European Communities, the "first pillar" of the EU. Isn't it only natural that "the single market is not open to discussion"?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:13:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
About the second, that bothered me too for a few weeks now.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:21:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yeah, me too.

Maybe we should say something like "the single market is unrealistically conflated with a "pure" deregulated market without reference to the real world and to the policiy choices otherwise advocated by the Green Paper".

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:29:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That sounds right, it also happens to partly deal with my last problem on the list.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:36:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it could also possible to argue that the single market doesn't necessarily imply a single energy market.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:59:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry if I sound grumpy (I am), but it's amazing people have been bothered by this for weeks and have said nothing. Now we're past deadline, out it comes. Gah.

The reference to the "genuine single market", imo, is absolutely equivalent in their (extremely unsubtle) language to creating internal energy markets. I don't think we should worry about it. Neither do I think we should be re-editing this text extensively now. We'll have work to do later on Energize Europe.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 02:05:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree on your interpretation of their phrase, but our text does sound at that point as if we don't know about the three pillars. Sorry I didn't point it out earlier. However, the point we are trying to make is a little too subtle for a one-liner.

I don't think it makes sense to send in a correction to the Energy Directorate so late in the game, and after so many modifications. Adding a paragraph that's been lost in the shuffle is one thing, but we've been touching and retouching too much.

The edited text can still be circulated to others, but we have to be careful about not representing that the text is identical to that which was submitted to the consultation.

You did start this last document with "I know this is crazy but we only have 48 hours to do this". We all had other commitments: Jerome was travelling on Sunday, I had a family visit, DoDo was away. You've done the work and I've nitpicked from the sidelines.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 02:14:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree that sending this in as an Erratum now is a bit much. During office hours yesterday would have been OK. Though perhaps we should try. Let's see what others think.

Of course, we can and should use the current text to circulate.

There was no implied criticism about people's availability in my remark. Just that my first attack diary on the Consultation was long ago, and the Open Letter two weeks ago, and stuff coming out now is a bit frustrating. Anyway, I really do think they use "genuine single market" as equivalent to "finishing the liberalisation of energy markets". Otherwise the following poll options make no sense.

I'm sorry I only got through reading stuff and trying to draft what, to my mind, should be a brief critique of the Green Paper, so late. It's also clear there was no advance consensus on whether it should have been a brief critique or a more detailed position paper. That complicated things when editing time was short.

BTW, there's a White Paper on Communication Open Consultation, closing date 30th Sept. Working group, anyone?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 02:57:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I had trouble formulating that, as Migeru said, subtle point, which he then did much better than I could. But there were inklings in the nuance I tried to use in comments -- for example in your first diary:

...That in this questionnaire the aim is for a common 'free' makret, and alternatives aren't even asked about, also reflects that the Commission is obliged to push that damned "Lisbon process".

I say if there was no feedback/note of receipt on the previous yet, trying to send the improved version won't be a problem even if they ignore it.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 03:08:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, we can always send it.

Is everyone in agreement on the text now?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 04:01:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think we are.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 04:11:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It has now been sent.

Before circulating it, however, I think it needs some page formatting (the page breaks need attention, as Nomad said). Writeboard won't do it, as far as I can see. I can make a .doc file of it and format that.

Any other ideas, anyone?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 06:36:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let me have a brief think about it ... might be possible to do a better print job from the HTML. Probably is -  just haven't had time to do it. The quality of the mark-up is bad, which probably isn't helping the print algorithms. But that's another issue.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 06:39:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Was the version you sent signed by names, or just collectively?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 07:32:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I "cashed in" on the way we were accepted for the Biofuels, and sent it as The European Tribune. I simply signed my name on the covering e-mail as the author of that e-mail.

The Open Letter was different, I think, it was from EU citizens.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 08:11:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I just met Jerome for Breakfast.

He said we should send the latest version anyway. We can always claim we sent an old draft by mistake as opposed to calling it "errata".

We can always send version 13 which is exactly as our prevvious submission plus the new paragraph.

Version 14 and later already contain more and more substantial rewordings of other things.

Options:

  • Send version 13
  • Send version 19

The latest version should be circulated more widely [MEPs, oter people mentioned in this discussion] making it clear that it's not identical to our consultation submission if that's the case.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 05:16:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I took it your latest version (19) was right and sent that.

I frankly don't believe it matters a whole lot with DG-TREN. Since the only consultation was IPM, they don't put up (unless I'm mistaken) a page with contributions as with the Biofuels Consultation. They may acknowledge receipt. I sent the e-mails return receipt, but that should go to etg@eurotrib.com, which only Jérôme has access to. So should any response they make.

They're not going to take any notice of what we say anyway, we know that ;)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 07:58:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What we need to aim for is to release "Energize Europe" simultaneously with the White Paper. When is that expected?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 08:05:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The timeline on the GP page says:

 Presentation of the WP, December 2006.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 08:25:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, we have October and November to go through all the steps in your working together scheme. 12 weekends from now is December 16/17 which will probably be the date of the EU summit.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 08:35:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Crossposted on dKos: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/9/25/172414/945

(it does not incorporate all the most recent amendments, but it's close enough)

Thanks for recommending it.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:26:45 PM EST
I know I'm going to sound terrible, but maybe you should have not put the full text there and insted only invited kossacks to come and see it / debate about it over here?

Then they'd succumb to the charms of ET.

But I understand why you did it, for maximum coverage it's better the way you did it as there would have been signal loss (in terms of readers) the way I propose it.

by Alex in Toulouse on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:32:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I certainly think it should be tried once, otherwise we'll never know.

Jusr give them a teaser over there - a link here and sit and watch what happens.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 05:36:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a text about Europe; I doubt that many people would click anyway. That was not the point of this exercise anyway.

What brings most people over here is when I provide links to other diaries on ET about topics of potential over there.

I don't click on diaries that force me to go to another site myself. I may click if something else is offered in addition to the full text (suggestion of an interesting discussio nthread, for instance)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:07:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't visit those 'other places' very often so I am out of touch, probably

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 06:26:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
my what busy busy elves you've been!

extremely impressive, will send pdf to scanio's website...(italy min. for environment).

et ROX, kudos....

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Sep 25th, 2006 at 07:03:10 PM EST
When there is a final, final version, could it be reposted, so we can see the fruits of your considerable labors? Danke viel mal!!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 07:39:45 AM EST
Or is it up already, and I'm just missing it??

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 07:40:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can get a look at writeboard one, PW energygp1.

It could be copied into a comment here, but it's long. Someone can do it if they want.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 08:03:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If it is a final, final, I could cut and paste it into a diary tomorrow...so we have it for our article records. That okay?

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 10:59:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe and hope it's final!

I'll do the diary, if you like, Bob. The cutting and pasting was tricky on this diary. Also, we'll be putting out a pdf file of the text which people can use to circulate to MEPs or influential folks and so on.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 11:53:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]