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Energy Paper: Real Real Final Draft

by afew Wed Sep 27th, 2006 at 03:35:55 AM EST

Below the fold is the full final version of the paper we sent in to the Public Consultation on the European Commission's Energy Green Paper.

We sent this in over a day late, with a covering note asking them to accept it as the definitive version after an unfortunate editing error (which was true, I made it, I still don't know how). We got an acknowledgement (I have bolded their response):

De : TREN-ENERGY-GP@cec.eu.int
Date : 26 septembre 2006 15:41:14 HAEC
À : etg@eurotrib.com
Objet : RE: GP Consultation - Erratum


> From: European Tribune [mailto:europeantribune@orange.fr]
> Sent: Tuesday, September 26, 2006 1:18 PM
> Subject: GP Consultation - Erratum
> Importance: High
> Dear Madam, Dear Sir,
> An important passage was inadvertently deleted from the contribution previously sent in by The European Tribune to the Energy Green Paper Public Consultation. It has been reinstated in the PDF file attached to this e-mail. We'd be grateful if you would please consider GP Energy Consultation Euro_Trib2.pdf as the definitive text of our contribution.
> Yours sincerely,

No comment.

Update [2006-9-27 12:22:20 by Jerome a Paris]:: the pdf document can be downloaded from ET at this link (pdf!)

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 argue below that this makes the document inconsistent and unlikely to be useful for building a strong European energy policy.

Our position is that an effective policy for Europe 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), a series of bullet points laying out undeniable facts such as:

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

also contains:

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 debatable, and a 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". 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 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 unguided 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 the total cost;
  • network costs and externality costs depend exclusively on regulation by public authorities, whether at the national or European level.
  • the absolute levels of the interest rates used to finance investments.

Costs that can be influenced by regulation 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 that penalise carbon-emitting power sources. "Developing renewable energy sources" suggests that network regulations should acknowledge the intermittence of these sources, not penalize them for the corresponding burden on the network, spread the cost to other producers. 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.

A proven way to "curb demand" is to increase taxes on consumption. Ensuring "access to energy" and ensuring "solidarity" (pp. 5 & 9) suggest 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, or poverty.

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

This derives from 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 favours coal-fired and gas-fired plants, and a lower interest rate favours nuclear and wind. Choosing to finance the energy sector by the financial markets and not by Member 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 (Source: http://www.industrie.gouv.fr/energie/electric/cout-ref-3.pdf; http://www.industrie.gouv.fr/energie/electric/cout-ref-4.pdf):

Changing from a 5% rate (typically the rate at which governments or public bodies can 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%

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

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

As the Green Paper includes as goals to "halt climate change", "improve local air quality", "diversify the EU's energy mix", current policies that favour burning coal and imported gas go directly against stated goals and therefore need to be balanced by other measures that would make hydrocarbon-burning plants less attractive and renewable energies more so.

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 the necessary trade-offs imposed by competing constraints stemming from the stated policy goals 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 whether 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 whether 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 price 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 taken into account?

If dependence on Russian gas is a major problem, then perhaps active measures to reduce demand should be discussed, and decisions made on 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 an EU-wide regulator) or at the national level?

    * Import dependence

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 are and nuclear can be an "indigenous" energy source (to the extent that fissible materials are readily available) and biomass, including second-generation biofuels, can be developed. By and large, however, 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, it is extremely improbable that the EU will be able to rely on low-priced gas in the future as the Green Paper assumes. 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 or regulatory limitation 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 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, integrated 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. This doesn't just mean a few expensive prestige lines, but broadly spread investment into linked-up networks with dense coverage.

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.

GREAT WORK!!! I will take time later and read over this final. Very exciting, though! Thank you all for your excellent effort on this!!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Wed Sep 27th, 2006 at 03:42:56 AM EST
Ditto. Thanks for all your efforts. Very appreciated. I'm thinking of translating this and passing it to some political publications here in Greece (where a sale of the state's share in the Public Power Corp. of 51% is rumoured intensly for 2007). Would you be interested in "other EU language" versions?

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Thu Sep 28th, 2006 at 09:28:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Sep 28th, 2006 at 10:28:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A properly-formatted PDF file of this paper will soon be available for circulation.

If you sent the Open Letter complaining about the Consultation questionnaire to a MEP or other, consider sending this as a follow-on text. If you didn't do this, please consider sending both this text and the Open Letter to your MEP. Afaik, the Open Letter is available in English and French. This paper won't, I imagine, be translated, too much work for us.

If you can think of people other than MEPs who could be contacted and sent a copy, go ahead and do this.

Watch this space for details of the PDF file. Meanwhile, don't hesitate to ping my e-mail with a request for a copy. I'll send them out as soon as it's ready.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Sep 27th, 2006 at 03:51:44 AM EST
I got a note back from Caroline Lucas's secretary (PA?  Assistant?) saying Caroline would read it during the week and get back to me (if and as...) at the end of said.

Great work afew and everyone else.  I get positive vibes from the OK.  "Can we change X for Y?"  "OK" = "X has been changed for Y."

I know it's good to have citizens' involvement at the individual level (me sending e-mails to my MEP x each user at ET)...but....

Why not send it out signed by all individuals who wish to be noted (an email to afew will sort that out), but sent from our infamous (as in "Does it exist?") eurotrib e-mail account.

A spokesperson, afew.  I'd nominate you, but I'm not close enough to buy you all the drinks etc. I'd feel I owed you.  Maybe Jerome can funnel some of the cash that's arrived into a "Drinks for afew!" fund?

(Ignore me!  Ignore me!  Get that man a tray of his favourite drinks!)

Am I making ze sense?  One e-mail to all MEPs.  They'll get used to seeing it appear.  "Another one of those blurrin' ET emails," they'll moan.  But they'll know it's gone to their colleagues, their bosses, and (newspapers?  A monthly periodical?  The Economist?  The FT?  Maybe the FT is a key place to send any "open letters"--Jerome has mojo working there.

But I dunno wot I'm torking abaht mate, so for now send me the letter and I'll forward it on.

Afew!  Top class!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Sep 27th, 2006 at 06:58:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks, rg. Of course, after the booze-up we had in the Gnomery last night, there's not much left of the fund, (not much left of the Gnomery either), but there you go... ;)

To the point. Yes, we could do as you suggest and have a standard ET communications format. That would be good for some things. But the European Parliament is the only directly-elected institution in the EU, and our MEPs are supposed to represent us as constituents. So individual letters to our MEPs seem to me important. I think they stand a better chance of being noticed than a circular.

Glad you got some reaction, but you have a seriously committed MEP. My Green MEP (Alex and I wrote to him) has given no response so far. I think we should monitor reactions and list the MEPs who respond and those who don't. Those who don't might get a second dose by e-mail, fax, post. If they still don't respond, the people who will be entitled to kick up a fuss will be their constituents. And they should. And mention ET every time.

But of course, mon ami, we must work towards a standard ET communications policy. We're only at the beginning...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Sep 27th, 2006 at 08:00:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
fter the booze-up we had in the Gnomery last night, there's not much left of the fund, (not much left of the Gnomery either), but there you go... ;)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Sep 27th, 2006 at 09:53:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't remember that bit, but it's not surprising, is it?

(One thing I really hate is how they make me tuck my nineteen-seventies yellow flares into those big black boots, yuck).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Sep 27th, 2006 at 10:45:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The PDF is now ready.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Sep 27th, 2006 at 07:42:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's only necessary to e-mail me if I don't have an e-mail address for you already, or if you want it sent to a different one.

I'll automatically send it to all who worked on the paper, and all who asked for copies of the Open Letter.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Sep 27th, 2006 at 08:10:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Please email me the pdf also. Thanks

And sterling work!

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Sep 27th, 2006 at 11:03:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I had a brief conversation with the MD of the Finnish wire agency STT today. He was busy, I was busy - we will talk more tomorrow.

I will need to show him what we do and have done. I have asked Me Duck for a copy of the latest pdf by email.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Sep 27th, 2006 at 11:07:01 AM EST
Me duck, I just this instant sent you one.

Others who have/should have received a copy by now are:

Jerome                          Whataboutbob
DoDo                            Alex in Toulouse
Migeru                          nanne
Nomad                           ceebs                      
ThatBritGuy                     Elco B                    
Metatone                        Melanchthon                
Laurent GUERBY                  rg

Anyone I've forgotten, anyone else who wants a copy, stick your hand up!

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Sep 27th, 2006 at 11:26:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Sep 27th, 2006 at 11:30:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the pdf document can be downloaded from ET at this link (pdf!)

(diary updated)

Maybe we could put out a "download area" with the documents sent in the name of ET at some point.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Sep 27th, 2006 at 12:23:33 PM EST
Great idea!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Sep 27th, 2006 at 02:28:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Any energy policy which sits upon a deficit-based monetary infrastructure is doomed to failure.

Emissions trading is equally hopeless: if it did work, it would never have been implemented. As the guy said, if you want to keep a donkey healthy, you don't regulate what comes out of it, but what goes in.

The solution IMHO can only lie in "reversing the polarity"  to create firstly "asset-based" investment mechanisms particularly in renewable energy, and secondly, generic clearing, along the lines advocated by Keynes at Bretton Woods, but with a global monetary "Value Unit" based upon energy.

Sorry Jerome, your paper's brilliant, but you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Until you admit the mathematical reality of the exponential growth of a deficit-based money supply you will get nowhere.

I recognise that it's easier to see this Reality from outside the banking system.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Sep 27th, 2006 at 07:07:40 PM EST
I have no idea what you're talking about!

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 28th, 2006 at 11:26:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Finnish wire service has a similar business model to those operating in most countries - according to them.

The services that they offer that are relevant to us are a) a free press release distribution and archiving service, and b) a paid distribution service.

The problem with a) is that they get thousands a day, and even though they are available to all Finnish media, (and may get picked up outside Finland if in other languages), it is a ''Pull' service - meaning media have to actively search the offerings, the offerings do not go on the wire. But that does not mean they are not found. If a journalist is seeking the keyword 'Energy' in the STT archives it will bring up all hits - like google.

The problem with b) is that it is expensive - from 150 € for a limited circulation up to 500 € for mass circulation. This means that they have profiled media customers who only want to have certain types of material 'Pushed' at them. The client may ask eg for only stuff about movies and movie stars if they were a movie magazine.

Both services are paid by subscriptions from the media for their right to browse the archives or get pushed priority releases. Some 50 of these media companies actually own STT.

Neither of these two options seem useful.

However when I was talking with them about Europe-wide Blogs they showed more interest and seemed open to a different take on it. They are sending me some stuff on Monday and I will send my contact our latest pdf so they can see what we produce.

I pointed out that this was a new phenomenon, it is not done for commercial gain, and that there was no budget for paid services of this kind. But it was nevertheless an expert document. They seemed sympathetic.

Finland is not an exclusive place to launch our material, of course, but I would imagine that this test may indicate what might happen elsewhere.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Sep 29th, 2006 at 09:34:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I forgot to add that the sums quoted above are not per item, but per year, with various limits on how many items can be submitted in the year.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Sep 29th, 2006 at 09:36:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I just read it, it's excellent work! Sometimes I'm just baffled by the power of this format.

Further thoughts soon, I have to finish up some university work first...

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Wed Oct 4th, 2006 at 06:46:40 AM EST

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