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Grid threats increase daily - from foreign foes, terrorists, criminals and hackers. Utilities are tasked with guarding against a rising tide of potentially disruptive intrusions into their power grid and electronic networks. What will it take to keep the power more...
Monday Jun 24, 2013
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - USA
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1960-61: Assistant lecturer, Institute of Economics, University of Stockholm (Sweden).
1961-64: Lecturer in economics, the International Graduate School, University of Stockholm;
Lecturer, Institute of Economics, University of Stockholm, Sweden
Consultant, United Nations Development Program (Egypt, Ethiopia, Senegal).
1964-66: Senior lecturer in mathematics, statistics, and economics – The United Nations
Institute for Economic and Development Planning (IDEP), Dakar, Senegal.
1966-68: Senior Lecturer (economics), Stockholm University, Sweden; Consultant, United Nations
Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Vienna, Austria.
1968-71: Econometrician and Commodity Economist, UNCTAD, Geneva ,Switzerland.
1971-78: Research Fellow, The Institute of Economics (Nationalekonomiska Institutionen), Uppsala
University; Lecturer in econometrics and natural resources, Stockholm University;
OECD lecturer in input-output analysis and macroeconomics, Technical University of
Lisbon (Portugal); consultant on natural resources, the Hudson Institute, Paris, France.
1978-79: Professorial Fellow, The Reserve Bank of Australia; Visiting Professor, the
department of econometrics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
1978-79: Research Fellow, Nationalekonomiska Institution, Uppsala University, Sweden.
1980: Visiting Professor,The Centre of Policy Studies,Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.
1982: Social Sciences Faculty Research Fellow, Uppsala University., Uppsala, Sweden.
1983: Visiting Research Fellow, Melbourne University; Visiting Lecturer, The Australian
School of the Environment, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.
1984: Visiting Professor, The International Graduate School, Stockholm University.
1985: Visiting Research Fellow, Centre for Resources and the Environment (CRES),
The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.
1987: Fellow of the NATO Advanced Study Institute, Povoa do Vardim, Portugal.
1989: Visiting Professor, University of New England, Armidale, Australia.
1990: Visiting Professor of Energy Economics, Université de Grenoble, Grenoble France;
Visiting Professor of International Economics, Ecole Superieure de Commerce de
de Grenoble (Graduate School of Business), Grenoble, France.
1991-92: Visiting Professor of Finance and Economics, Nanyang Technical University, Singapore.
1993: Visiting Professor of International Finance, The Center for Economic Research and
Graduate Education, Charles University, Prague, Czechoslovakia.
1994: Visiting Professor, University of New England, Armidale, Australia.
1995- Technical consultant, AP Energy Business Group, Singapore.
2000: Lecturer in Industrial Organization, Nationalekonomiska Inst., Uppsala University
2001: Visiting Professor and University Fellow, Hong Kong Energy Studies Centre.
Hong Kong Baptist University. Hong Kong
2004 Visiting Professor (on natural gas), ENI Corporate University, Milan Italy.
1. Eleven Books Published Internationally:
The World Copper market; The Economics of Natural Resources; Scarcity, Energy, and Economic Progress; Bauxite and Aluminum; The International Economy; The Political Economy of Oil; Resources and Energy; The Political Economy of Coal; The Political Economy of Natural Gas; Energy Economics: A Modern Introduction (Published by Kluwer Academic Publishers, Jan. 2000. This is the first book from Uppsala University in the New Millenium!!); An Introduction to Global Finance and Financial Markets. (World Scientific Publishing Co., London-New York-Singapore. This is an elementary textbook in international finance!)
2. At least 200 articles, notes, conference papers, reviews, and other documents published or ’distributed’ internationally.
3. Research in progress: Electric/gas deregulation; gas and oil markets; climate change and economics
4. Military: 5 years, US Army (infantry/artillery); 1 year, US Navy (civilian engineer)
In my new energy economics book (2013), the words "lies" and "misunderstandings" are found several times in almost every chapter. I may also have mentioned (once again) that many years ago I took a stroll through wonderful Vienna with some sort of Japanese insider, who explained to me in a very serious tone of voice that many of the persons who gave the orders in his country did not want to have anything to do with nuclear energy.
According to the United Nations energy organization (IAEA), statistics indicate that for 2009 and 2010, nuclear reactors in Sweden and Germany managed by the Swedish firm Vattenfall had the lowest capacity factors in the (nuclear) world.
In the early summer of 2011 I saw a notice in a Swedish newspaper that the well known nuclear debater, Amory Lovins, had been invited to a large conference sponsored by the Tallberg Foundation. It was to be held at Sigtuna (Sweden), which is located between Stockholm and Uppsala, and comparatively close to my home.
Not long ago I read an article on the site OilPrice.Com in which the author claimed that President Barack Obama lied when he stated that there was a shortage of oil onshore or in the waters around the United States (U.S.).
"The Truth About Oil" is the title of a long and fairly useful article that was published in the April 9 (2012) issue of Time. I think that I can -- and in reality often have -- done a lot better, but the author of that article (Brian Walsh) has performed almost as well as I could if I encountered a fanatic crew of Time subscribers and/or devotees at a conference, or perhaps even in a seminar room.
For many years I have enjoyed thinking that I know everything I need and want to know about the economics of nuclear energy. But recently I published an article called 'In the head of U.S. Energy Secretary Chu' in the important forum EnergyPulse, and the discussion of my article
Not long ago an article was published on the site Master Resource which featured an outlandish denial of verified (and hypothetical) oil resources in the United States (U.S.). Specifically, with oil imports costing the U.S. almost a billion dollars a day, readers were told that a huge amount of oil reserves were actually available, and President Obama lied when he said that there was a drastic shortage of oil in the crust of the earth.
During the 10 years of so that I taught international finance at Uppsala University (Sweden), I made two things clear: I didn't teach nonsense any longer (meaning a large part of advanced macroeconomics), and so whatever I taught had to be learned perfectly.
Last night I participated in a debate (arranged by Russia Today TV -- 24-7 -- Crosstalk, and transmitted internationally in English) in which I pointed out -- on several occasions -- that the aggregate (though unweighted) Brent-WTI (West Texas Intermediate) price of oil was about 112 dollars a barrel (= $112/b), and I claimed that if this price reaches $130, we could be facing a clear and impending economic danger.
As most observers of the energy scene know, Dr. Steven Chu is the Energy Secretary of the United States, a physicist, and a Nobel Laureate. Discovery Magazine, in a recent issue, selected what it called the "100 top stories of 2010", one of which was authored by an editor of Discovery, and whose main purpose was evidently to verify Dr. Chu's green credentials.
The purpose of this article is to extend the short paper I presented as part of an energy 'debate' at the recent 'Singapore Energy Week'. What I attempted to do in that talk was to call attention to several issues that were not understood by at least one debater at the 'meeting'. This errand was important, because as Marcel Boiteux -- the eminent French economist who at one time was President of Electricite de France -- once remarked: "In the United States (U.S.) and elsewhere, they have succumbed to the dictatorship of the non-nuclear minority."
Alan Greenspan is not my favorite macro economist or central bank chief, although his presence on a bandstand with the great jazz saxophonist Stan Getz deserves almost as much respect as the above citation. Of course, when he says "everyone" he means persons in his social circle.
Many years ago, although it seems like centuries, I was sitting in a small bar-disco in a town near Stuttgart Germany, talking to an Ivy League type from the same brigade in the U.S. Army as myself, as well as a friend of his who was the son of a former German general, but whose Christian name was definitely American/English.
When recently asked why the (West Texas Intermediate) oil price at the end of June (2011) had declined from 112 dollars per barrel (=$112/b) to almost 90$/b in a fairly short time, I informed some visitors to the 2011 international meeting of the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE, Stockholm) that it was probably because the OPEC directors were on their vacations instead of at their desks in Vienna
While Germany might temporarily abandon nuclear facilities located in Germany, they will never abandon electricity generated in nuclear reactors -- at least as long as German voters prefer a higher to a lower standard of living. Put another way, for every kilowatt of nuclear-based power lost because of temporary nuclear closures that might take place in the largest economy in Europe, another will probably be obtained from somewhere else in Europe, sooner or later.
In the summer of 2001, a few months before the 9/11 attacks on the Trade Towers and Pentagon, I was invited to Hong Kong as a visiting professor and university fellow for the purpose of lecturing on electric regulation and deregulation.
In my forthcoming textbook Energy and Economic Theory (2011), the last chapter contains a section called 'On the Sunny Side of the Nuclear Street', which is a shortened version of a keynote talk on nuclear energy that I volunteered to present at a forthcoming energy conference in marvelous summer Stockholm.
This note is a preview of the keynote address I want to present at the 2011 international conference of the International Association of Energy Economists (IAEE), which takes place in sunny Stockholm this coming June. This assumes that I will be invited to present a keynote address, or allowed to give any sort of address, or for that matter will be permitted to just wander through the corridors of the magnificent building in which those noble proceedings will take place.
I had hoped to give a provocative lecture on the economics of nuclear energy at the forthcoming international meeting of the International Association for Energy Economics in wonderful summer Stockholm, but on the basis of what might happen in North Africa and the Middle East in the coming months, I suspect that I will be asked by the conference directors to fall back on one of my oil market recitals.
As most readers of this short paper probably know, Dr. Steven Chu is the energy secretary of the United States, a physicist, and a Nobel Laureate. Discovery Magazine, in its latest issue (2011), selected what it called the "100 Top Stories of 2010", one of which was authored by an editor of Discovery, and whose main purpose was to verify Dr. Chu's green credentials.
This short paper borrows from my forthcoming energy economics textbook (2011), and consists of a part of the lecture that I once desperately wanted to present at either the Stockholm School of Economics, or at the research organization called Centre for Business and Policy Studies (SNS), which is also located in the Swedish capital.
An article published in the Infantry Journal (U.S.) many years ago contained the following exotic question: “If you only had an hour in which turn civilians into soldiers, what would your instruction consist of?”
Last week I gave a lecture in Paris at the Université de Paris (Dauphine), in which I did my usual best to explain to a group of energy economics students that OPEC had now taken command of the oil price.
Recently the Swedish Oil and Gas Network graciously invited me to attend one of their important seminars, at which time I look forward to receiving some valuable information about Iraqi oil, which is the subject of the meeting.
When the subject was oil, my students at the Asian Institute of Technology (Bangkok) were politely asked to study the situation in the United States. It told me everything I needed to know about the peaking of oil production,
Several years ago I politely asked every student in my course on oil and gas economics at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) to master some important materials dealing with the availability of oil. By "master" I meant learn perfectly, assuming that they preferred a passing to a failing grade.
According to Hughes Belin (2010), "Tout Brussels" gathered on Tuesday (April 13) for the presentation of 'Roadmap 2050', by which he meant the flamboyant occasion on which the European Climate Foundation (ECF) -- a so-called think tank -- unveiled still another green fantasy about how Europe could be decarbonised for little more than lunch money.
Until about 2008 it was the oil optimists who gave most of the parties -- or at least supplied the music. It is highly significant -- and enjoyable -- that we only encounter a few of those people at the present time, although it continues to be annoying when we suddenly find ourselves confronted with humourless pundits who reject mainstream economics, geology, and statistics, and denounce the oil market realism that is occasionally showcased by our sterling media.
I never contemplate the 'details' of energy wars, and that means the kind predicted for the future by Len Gould, as well as the one that Alan Greenspan -- the former director of the United States central bank (or Federal Reserve System) -- believes began in 2003, and to a limited extent is still taking place.
About a month ago, toward the conclusion of an important workshop at the Scuola di Dottorato in Scienza Ambientali of the University of Siena (Italy), Professor Riccardo Basosi or Professor Robert U. Ayres - or both - raised the question of the possible outcome of the forthcoming Copenhagen Climate Summit. Under normal circumstances, they might have expected a variety of opinions on the part of workshop participants, but in this case there seemed to be almost total unanimity: Copenhagen would not succeed, and in words that helped to make the late Humphrey Bogart famous, we had no choice but to 'take it and like it'.
A few days ago, while listening to the worst Nobel Prize lecture that I ever heard, I found myself thinking of those persons who should have received a Nobel Prize in Economics -- which of course is not a genuine Nobel Prize, since it was established by the Swedish central bank (Riksbanken), and not Alfred Nobel.
Several years ago I gave a number of energy economics lectures which included an insistence that the Kyoto conference on the environment was badly flawed. My reasoning turned on the neglect of nuclear energy, as well as the decision taken at that meeting to promote cap-and-trade (or emissions trading) as the main device for offsetting a too rapid accumulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the upper (or perhaps lower) atmosphere.
The title of this contribution is almost identical to the one I used for a paper that I published in the OPEC Bulletin ten years ago. During those wonderful days I eventually came to believe that -- where energy economics was concerned -- I was OPEC's fair-haired boy, since they published everything I sent them, regardless of its content or quality.
I would like to begin by stating that while the subject of energy economics has still not attained its 'critical mass' where book-length literature is concerned, there are an increasing number of short, non-technical papers that everyone should attempt to read and understand. Where my energy economics students are concerned, I mean read and understand perfectly, especially if they prefer a passing to a failing grade.
Oil prices can be described as long-term, medium (or intermediate) term, or short term. The most recently quoted price is usually called a spot price, and this can be thought of as the price at which oil is being sold for delivery in the very near future. Using an elementary difference equation, I have suggested in my paper 'Economic theory and some aspects of the new world oil market' (2009) that if we look at a plot of oil prices over time, we should expect to see a trend -- going up, or down -- over weeks, months, or years, as well as fluctuations around trends that display price peaks and troughs.
Some controversy remains as to whether speculation or fundamentals were behind the spectacular rise in the oil price in 2008, or for that matter the rise in the oil price during the last 6 months. The dissention can partially be traced to academics like myself, who have been careless in our explanations of this issue.
Perhaps the most straightforward reasoning in favour of nuclear-based electricity is in the non-technical article of Rhodes and Beller (2000). They say that "Because diversity and redundancy are important for safety and security, renewable energy sources ought to retain a place in the energy economy of the century to come."
In preparing the new printing of my energy economics textbook, several widely publicized topics were deliberately omitted. One of these was the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. On several occasions I heard this document mentioned when I was visiting professor at the Asian Institute of Technology (Bangkok), which caused me to immediately make it clear that it was not to be discussed in my classroom in the course of what might be described as normal business.
The speculation versus fundamentals controversy is in some respect what Sherlock Holmes might have called 'The Final Problem'. It is final because the peak-oil quandary has, to a considerable extent, been settled: a majority of observers now accept that a global peaking of the oil output is quite conceivable, and could -- not will-- happen in the near as opposed to the distant future.
Vladimir Lenin ostensibly believed that Soviet power plus electricity would create a heaven on earth. Analogously, the implicit assumption in Sweden after the Social Democrats assumed power was that something called the 'Swedish welfare state' would feature social democracy plus electricity.
Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil (XOM) -- the energy firm that is often Number One on the Fortune 500 List -- has now come to the conclusion that emissions trading (or cap-and-trade) is doomed to fail. Instead, in a speech at the Woodrow Wilson Center, he declared that he was in favour of a carbon tax, which he called "...a more direct and transparent approach."
Mutual assistance is practiced by all utilities in times of trouble. It is the cornerstone of an industry that truly values safety and service. Until now, mutual assistance has meant line crews, trucks and equipment, or other resources directly related to the actual restoration efforts. However, there is a recognized need for support on the customer care side of the business as well
We do not know if global warming is the real deal, or just part of a cycle, but we have discovered that gas and oil can become extremely expensive in a very short time. In these circumstances the optimal behaviour is to get friendlier with the friendly atom, and do what former Prime Minister Blair and the founder of Greenpeace suggest, which is to increase the use of nuclear energy.
Some observers think that speculation is the cause of the escalating oil price -- an escalation that, as I have pointed out in many lectures and publications (e.g. 2007), is capable of cutting the ground out from under the international macroeconomy
In the American Navy there was once a saying that ‘On every ship there is someone who doesn’t get the message’, however on this ship everyone has finally gotten the message, where everyone includes a former head of the Petroleum Industry Research Foundation in New York, who once claimed that OPEC is “on its way into a stagnant volume environment at best”. This misleading statement can be translated as ‘OPEC’s oil is increasingly unimportant’.
Since the publication of my natural gas book (1987), many changes have taken place in this market. Globally, the growth in the demand for gas may still exceed that of all energy media except renewables, and until recently gas was often highly recommended as an input for electric power generation.
I would like to begin this brief exposition with a bizarre fairy tale that was confected by two well known energy experts, Amory Lovins and Joseph Romm, and published in Foreign Affairs (1992-93), which is the prestigious journal of the (United States) Council on Foreign Relations. It goes like this...
David Stipp of Fortune has referred to climate change as "the mother of all national security issues (2004)." I see no reason to disagree, since as explained in my new textbook (2007), a peaking of global oil production in the near future could be labeled the father.
In a recent edition of his 'blog', one of the authors of Freakonomics (2005) - Stephen Levitt - made a few comments about his short stay in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) state of Dubai. As most viewers of CNN are aware, luxury is the order of the day in that lucky nation, however in mulling over the details of this condition, Professor Levitt failed to emphasize the key economic element behind Dubai's rise from a fishing village to a middle eastern version of Monaco.
When I walked into the faculty of economics at the University of Uppsala one day in October, 1973, I knew immediately that something was drastically wrong. I didn't know whether the King had abdicated, the Third World War had started, or the national curling team had lost a crucial match, but without talking to anyone, I was sure that somehow, somewhere a calamity had taken place.
Several years ago the president of the Stockholm School of Economics and a colleague published an article with the provocative title "Why has the Nordic Electricity Market Worked so Well" (2005) - although in reality almost every newspaper in this country has expressed on its front or editorial page the opposite point of view.
Several years ago I published a paper in Geopolitics of Energy with the title 'Some aspects of Nuclear Energy and the Kyoto Protocol' (2000). On the first page of that issue, the editor of the publication at that time, Vincent Lauerman, asked the following very relevant question: "Is 'Kyoto' a lost cause without the mass deployment of nuclear power plants?"
This article provides a brief and essentially non-technical evaluation of some aspects of the global warming discussion, mainly concentrating on the inadequacy of the Kyoto Protocol as a result of two oversights. The first is the failure of the Kyoto conference on the environment to encourage a larger deployment of nuclear energy in the main industrial nations, while the second is the bizarre promotion by that gathering of global emissions trading.
Genius Speaks: A note for the conference 'Oil and Money'. An unsolicited and perhaps undesired note is perhaps the correct term here. Every year a distinguished conference is held with the title 'Oil and Money', and for well over a decade, when I saw a notice of this conference, I immediately begin writing and circulating articles and notes in the hope that my work would be detected by the sponsors.
Having been referred to on several occasions as a propagandist for nuclear energy, I hesitated to begin this paper. The dilemma for me is that unlike many students and observers of OPEC, I have always been positive to that organization.
Applicable how? Applicable in the sense that one of the cardinal rules of physics has traditionally been that the introduction of new concepts was not more important than abandoning some of the mistaken notions that often find their way into widespread circulation. This is why I offer the present update.
A publication that I occasionally refer to as a compendium of London wine bar gossip recently offered a few choice observations about oil that deserve elaboration and a wider circulation. I place these observations in the category of facts, and use them to present a few comments on associated fictions.
"Sweden surprised the world by announcing its intention to get off oil," Tam Hunt informed the readers of EnergyPulse in a May 2006 article. The world doesn’t include me though, because I have learned to expect all sorts of moonshine from Swedish governments.
These days I make it my business to take for granted that just about everyone understands the situation with oil. I assume that with the oil price occasionally exceeding seventy dollars a barrel, the more vulgar forms of optimism will be discarded. Amazingly enough however, there are still persons with a passable background in energy matters who are unable to deal with the new oil realities.
If Vladimir Milov is a mite hazy on the mechanics of capitalistic business mechanics, he apparently knows enough about oil production to suggest that Russia should not be producing more than 7.8 mb/d of this commodity instead of the 9.5 mb/d that was recently announced. The latter figure implies that in order to maintain this production, serious long-term damage is being inflicted on reservoirs.
In a decade, Russia, together with the adjacent former members of the Soviet Union, will probably be the only region outside the Middle East with a reasonably large exportable surplus of oil. I say 'Probably' for two reasons. First, some surprises may eventually turn up in the interior or offshore districts of Africa and South America, although a question must be raised as to whether they are the kind of surprises that we might be desperately in need of at that time.
The story of Russian gas is to a certain extent beautiful. Somewhat like the soap opera about the perennially rejected suitor who ends up as the object of everyone's affection. And that wasn't the only rejection I had in mind while preparing this article. Professor Jonathan Stern took issue with my book on natural gas because I insisted that the more Soviet gas purchased, the better for everyone on the buy side of the market.
Five energy experts - to include Adam Sieminski of Deutsche Bank - were recently asked for their opinion of the future of oil prices. Four of them - of which one was anonymous - were not particularly optimistic.
Spring seems to be arriving a little early in my humble research world. After being summarily informed by Mr Eric Christensen in EnergyPulse (www.energypulse.net) that my analysis of the coal markets (2005) was seriously defective, another Christensen sent me a notice dealing with recent studies which implied that oil sceptics like myself have completely lost touch with reality.
Oil and gas are much scarcer than commonly thought, and rather than reduce their consumption of energy, and particularly motor fuel, Mr and Ms Consumer will insist on - and by one means or another obtain - the continued use of coal at the present intensity, or even higher.
In the last fifteen years coal has tended to become a minor topic, with the possible exception of the attention that is paid to its environmental shortcomings; but even so the consumption of that resource continues to grow at a rapid pace, and for a good reason: there is an enormous amount of coal in the crust of the earth, and for a long time it has been comparatively inexpensive.
The main driving forces behind electric deregulation are ideology and carelessness. The first of these involves a comparatively small number of movers and shakers, and their foot soldiers, who - consciously or otherwise - have come to believe that high deregulated electricity prices are preferable to low regulated prices.
Just before I began to study energy economics, which was around the time of the first oil price 'shock', the Saudi Arabian oil economy was being programmed by its foreign 'owners' (which included Exxon, Texaco, Standard Oil of California, and Mobil) to produce 20 Mb/d of oil.
Everything that you need to know about the future of Saudi Arabian oil production can be found in a staff report to the subcommittee on international economic policy of the committee on foreign relations of the United States Senate (1979).
A few months ago I received a message informing me that my theories about electricity trading and risk management were - like the "retrograde" contents of my international finance textbook (2001) - completely worthless. In this brief and to a certain extent non-technical exposition, I present a few old and new remarks about electricity deregulation.
Winston Churchill occasionally used the expression "an enigma within an enigma" when attempting to evaluate the former Soviet Union. I have employed similar terminology when discussing the attitude of Swedish politicians toward nuclear-based electricity (since, on the whole, their position differs markedly from that of their constituents).
Not too long ago I had the great pleasure of giving a long lecture on oil at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, where I once studied mathematics in a building that is still known as 'Sing-Sing' (after the US prison of the same name.)
The intention of this short paper is to present some up-to-date comments about the economics of natural gas. I can begin by emphasizing that I am taking a position on this topic that is similar to the one presented in an authoritative publication like the 'Oil and Gas Journal', which on many occasions has indicated (directly or otherwise) that natural gas is not as abundant as often believed.
Several years ago I published a paper in Geopolitics of Energy with the title 'Some aspects of Nuclear Energy and the Kyoto Protocol' (2000). On the first page of that issue, the editor of the journal, Vincent Lauerman, asked the following important question: "Is 'Kyoto' a lost cause without the mass deployment of nuclear power plants?"
Steadily increased demand for oil, and stagnating or decreasing oil reserves, will ensure that higher oil prices are here to say, although the term "higher" cannot be made more precise at the present time.