November 26, 2011
Dear friends and visitors of this site: due to heart surgery I will be less active until the end of 2011. I must take a rest and revalidate. Lectures and work in the pipeline will be published on the site.
NEW: For a technical-economic research project a PhD student will be appointed from February 1, 2012 onwards. She/he should own a master degree in applied economics, by preference degree of commercial engineer. The research will deal with technological learning and investment decision-making for new technologies in industry. Candidates can mail their resumé to me.
ATOMIC POWER. Now the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima is taking place. It confirms again the fundamental criticism that has been made by my colleagues and myself on the atomic power industry since decades. An overview of my contribution to that criticism can be found in my lectures (2010.04.26 Nuclear in a sustainable energy future or 2010.11.21 MO debate on nuclear renaissance), and in publications like Renewable and nuclear power: A common Future? (Energy Policy, 2008) and as chapter 4 in my book De ware energiefactuur. This chapter (Dutch text) is now available on this site as Kiezen tussen Atoom en Hernieuwbare Energie. Short Opinions published in newspapers are: De natuur als gulle vriend (De Standaard, 2011.03.16); De kwestie atoomenergie (De Tijd, 2011.03.17); Fukushima betekent de doodsteek voor de atoomenergie (MO*, 2011.03.19); Hoe goedkoop zijn risico's? (De Standaard, 2011.03.21); Niet verzekerbaar is niet aanvaardbaar (De Tijd, 2011.03.29); Wie bederft de pret: Cassandra of het Paard van Troje? (MO* Opinie); Nucleair Forum en het Publieke Debat. Six opinions have been collected in Vijf Inzichten over Atoomenergie to ease the donwloading. In a Kaaitheater Masereel lecture I discuss the contradiction between the nuclear failures and the public indulgence. Together with Guido Erreygers (UA) I analyzed the issue of nuclear rents, a subject that has raised quite some public debate in Belgium: the essay Hoezo: nucleaire rente? here available is published by Samenleving & Politiek. Also we submitted two Opinions for newspapers: Welke nucleaire rente? (De Standaard) and Nucleaire rente: waarover praten we? (De Tijd). The decision on May 30rd by the German government to definitely phase out nuclear power by 2022, spurred again public and media attention: I participated in TV programs (VTM, Kanaal Z, RTL+) and broadcasts (VRT Radio 1: Peeters & Pichal 2011.06.03; De Ochtend 2011.07.03). DeWereldMorgen (2011.05.31) published Duitsland toont de weg in energieland. Please find the analysis there, and ask for additional detail when necessary.
IRREVERSIBILITY & DECISION-MAKING when COMPLEXITY PREVAILS. Research on Irreversibility concepts and metrics has been resumed in January. An earlier article is reworked after comments by three reviewers. The ideas and propositions were considered as original, fruitful and genuinely ecological-economic; the presentation was criticized as poor and some aspects had to be elaborated more fully and clearly in a better structure. The reviewers have provided good hints to improve the article what is now available as Revisiting Irreversibility: Concepts and Metrics. Within the same field a lecture and article "Decision- making when complexity prevails" are completed and available on this site. A Dutch article on the usefulness of cost-benefit analysis is accepted for publication in STREVEN. The Rotterdam POETRY INTERNATIONAL festival under the banner Order and Chaos invited my talk Natuurwetten - Kortzichtigheid - Overmoed along with poems on the same themes.
CLIMATE POLICY. My view on the jammed UNFCCC COP process is formulated positively in alternative architecture proposals. At this moment my critics focus mainly on the "political feasibility" of the proposals, while conceding their consistency and comprehensiveness announcing effectiveness, efficiency, equity and institutional transparency. Earlier ideas are reworked for delivering a clearer and more accessible article that is now published in the online journal SUSTAINABILITY: A Turbo Drive for the Global Reduction of Energy-Related CO2 Emissions. Your comments are solicited.
CONTRIBUTIONS at CONFERENCES. Two more articles have been accepted for oral presentation (and here available). One at the ECEEE conference in France (June): "Financial appraisal of efficiency investments: Why the good may be the worst enemy of the best". This work is linked to the irreversibility and complex decisions research. A few more articles are in final editing; some face great resistance from established interests and views: inertia is a strong force. At the ASPO (Peak Oil) conference in Brussels (April 27, 2011) I presented a lecture Unlocking Renewable Energy Potentials. At the WREC (World Renewable Energy Conference) Linköping, May 8-13, I presented Incentive regulation of CHP performance. (Slides) summarizing the paper with the same title Incentive regulation of CHP performance.
RENEWABLE ENERGY. The work for the IPCC SRREN is now finished with a final editing of the Glossary. Because a Glossary is a living document it is approved together with the Summary for Policy Mak ers in May (Abu Dhabi). In Flanders the excess subsidies for renewable energy is now becoming more and more apparent. Politicians are alarmed and try to check the leakages in the systems that they adopted and in the operational management that they have set up. On invitation of a newspaper I prepared a brief position paper Groen Vlaams beleid voor Vlaamse groene stroom that covers some major questions and suggests proper answers. A newspaper (De Tijd, 2011 04 30) published as Opinion Kopieer Duits beleid voor groene stroom. The article Assessing the Performance of Renewable Electricity Support Instruments that we started in summer 2010 with Volkmar Lauber (Salzburg University), is submitted to a journal. Radio Centraal brought a long interview about the SRREN and renewable energy policies on 2011.07.09.
The past semester was well loaded with teaching courses, i.e.: Electricity Economics (BA course); Environmental Economics (MA course); Energy technology, economics, and policy (MA course); Energy Issues (MA seminar). Several short lectures are planned in a variety of graduate courses and trainings. Now students require more time in supervising master thesis work.
Lectures and contributions:
2011 March 02: University of Ghent: Decision-making when complexity prevails (slides+text in latest news)
2011 April 07: MONTY Antwerpen. Kennis is Macht. Levendige dialoog tussen levende mensen.
2011 May 19: Masereel & Kaaitheater, Brussels: Atoomenergie - Democratie - Feiten - Schijn
2011 June 16: POETRY INTERNATIONAL, Rotterdam: Orde en Chaos - Natuurwetten - Kortzichtigheid - Overmoed
2011 June 29: Federal Parliament, Brussels. Sustainable development strategy 2050. "Energy: the ultimate driving force."
2011 September 22: UGent, Ghent: Over normativiteit, onzekerheid en complexiteit. Reflecties bij duurzaamheidsonderzoek in Vlaanderen: Is de Macht van Onduurzame Energie Breekbaar?
2011 October 11: IOB University of Antwerp. Climate Change and Development. Complementary or Competing Issues?
2011 October 25: OKRA, Leuven: Klimaatcrisis & Atoomenergie
2011 October 26: VVSG, Antwerp: Eerste energiedag lokale besturen. Klimaat & Energie: lokale aanpak van een mondiaal probleem
2011 October 27: VVOR, Brussels: Will national climate change legislation cool down global warming? Global Climate Policy: Critical review and alternative pathways for a jammed process
2011 November 11: 11.11.11. Klimaatchaos in de Zondvloed (4 beelden bij het gesprek)