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The funny thing in recent years, is that when power prices are high down on the continent, power lines work well and the price up here is pushed to the continental level. However, when prices for once are low down in Germany, the power links usually suffer mysterious breakdowns, or nuclear reactors suffer unexpected extended maintenance breaks, and so on. This has resulted in Swedish average power prices (in the completely non-transparent Nord Pool power exhange) actually being higher than those in Germany, in spite of radically lower production costs!

Why is this? Well, the power market in Sweden is an oligopoly controlled by Eon, Fortum and Vattenfall, who jointly own the nuclear stations. Vattenfall is wholly owned by the state and delivers fat annual dividends to the state coffers, and the higher the price of power, the more revenue electricity taxes bring in. No one, not power companies or the government, except consumers have an incentive in the market not being manipulated. And consumers have no pricing power what so ever.

Just sayin'.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 02:29:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
to Sweden's energy strategy, and no doubt necessary to the zero-carbon plan.

If electricity prices were lower, reflecting true costs, that would not give such a strong push to conservation, urban heating etc. People might even use electric heaters.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 05:07:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The high prices actually have nothing to do with any environmental concerns, and everything to do with the deregulation of the power market and lining the pockets of corporate fat cats, including the over-payed exectuives at state-owned Vattenfall. The chairman of the board was fired last week by the government due to corruption over corporate compensation.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 05:23:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If they were playing the game and letting letting the market operate, electricity prices would sometimes be lower, or in other words, prices would fluctuate more.

Would this not be problematic for the zero-carbon plan?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 12:39:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not really, Swedish electricity is almost zero-carbon as it is. If anything keeping the electricity price elevated makes it harder to get electricity to replace oil in traffic.

Note also that Vattenfall uses part of the profits to expand buy buying coal and nuclear on the continent and stripmining pictoresque German villages for low grade coal. So while high prices could be part of a green strategy, it is not so here. It is just part of Vattenfall's strategy for empire building.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 12:44:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This one of those things that piss me off the most. So much that I wrote a debate article for the local paper last fall - and got it published!

It's in Swedish, but at least you can read it. :)

   

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 12:52:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good proposals for regulation. Did you get any reactions?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 02:42:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lots of positive e-mails from readers to the newspaper, but no replying article arguing against my proposals.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 03:05:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A friend of mine who is an active social democrat wrote a proposition to their regional annual meeting which was more or less verbatim based on this article. It was shot down for being too far to the left, and probably contrary to a number of EU rules.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 03:09:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Far to left of the Socialdemocrats? You commie :)

But that is a good result from an article.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 12:29:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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