ترکیب ملاحظات توسعه پایدار بسوى تصمیم گیری بخش انرژی : مطالعه موردی تاسیسات حرارت مرکزی مالمو فلینرنن
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|29039||2000||23 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||13900 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Energy Policy, Volume 28, Issue 10, August 2000, Pages 689–711
The paper introduces an on-going doctoral research study aimed at facilitating the operationalisation of sustainable energy systems. The study focuses upon the analysis of existing and development of new methods for the incorporation of socio-environmental considerations into large-scale investment decision-making in the energy sector. The final output of the research study, to be completed by the end of 2001, will be a Framework for Sustainable Energy Sector Investment Analysis and Decision Support. The Framework will be designed for application by energy companies in decision-making processes concerning the selection of new power generation alternatives. In order to broadly identify decision-making parameters applied in energy sector decision processes, primary data collection for the study involves the retrospective analysis of decision cases. The results of one portion of information gathering undertaken as part of the aforementioned data collection are presented in the paper. A retrospective case study analysis was carried out on an investment decision-making process concerning the Flintränen biomass-based district heating plant in southern Sweden. To analyse the case study data, an analytical module was developed. Examination of the Flintränen case using the analytical module revealed several weaknesses in the decision-making methods applied to the planning of the facility, originating primarily from the incorporation of only a limited number of decision parameters or considerations into investment calculations. Furthermore, analysis showed that, had appropriate socio-environmental decision-support methods been incorporated into the decision process, considerable financial and internal environmental costs associated with the facility could have been avoided, and environmental risk linked to its operation decreased. Lessons learned from the Flintränen case will be utilised as input into the ongoing identification and development of parameters considered as important for inclusion in the Framework for Sustainable Energy Sector Investment Analysis and Decision Support.
3.1. The research problem As illustrated in Fig. 2, there are an increasing number of environmental pressures on companies today, each with implications for business; these can be broadly categorised as: legislative (local, national, regional) and market-based ( Gray, 1993). Market and economic instruments to encourage environmental response, such as carbon taxes (notably in the wake of the ratification of UNFCCC-related greenhouse gas reduction commitments); peer pressure and leadership in the form of corporate competitors acting ahead of legislation; the sectoral integration of life-cycle approaches in product design and development leading, in turn, to corporate responsible care programmes; competition through a more cost-effective response to legislation and customer demands, and a higher profile in `green markets’ from `greener competitors'; preferential investment by financial markets in companies which present low environmental liability; and negative public attention associated with recent socially, environmentally or ethically controversial activities, such as animal cloning or genetically modified food products, are all examples of the pressures by which business is, increasingly, touched.For energy companies, economic feasibility is a fundamental prerequisite for effectively carrying out environmental work at the corporate level which is in line with sustainable development principles. This requires, amongst other things, that decisions regarding new investments be based upon a weighing of what is ecologically motivated, technically feasible, and economically appropriate. In order for managers to make informed decisions, and for customers and other stakeholders to be able to evaluate and compare the environmental effects of the products and services sold by energy companies, factual information and business ratios are necessary that take into consideration the effective utilisation of energy and raw materials, while minimising damaging environmental effects. When purchasing products and services, this also means prioritising alternatives that have a lesser detrimental effect on the environment. In addition — and perhaps more tangibly — given that power generation company assets typically comprise substantial infrastructure investments with both long financial and technical lifetimes, knowing how and where current and future social and environmental issues exist within a company or industry can only enhance their ability to foresee and prepare for unfolding environmental regulations and increasing customer demands. At the short-term, in-depth reviews of environmental and related-financial factors will facilitate making more informed decisions about changes to smaller, more specific technical and managerial aspects of facilities which are currently a cost, rather than a benefit, both to the company and to the environment. At the longer term, however, tools which provide important information designed to enable the company to make strategic investments in power plants which are both financially profitable, and environmentally-sound, are needed ( Tulenheimo et al., 1997). 3.1.1. What is lacking in existing tools? Several hundreds of tools for supporting socially- and environmentally- considerate decision-making through the incorporation of social and environmental costs and benefits (or, at least, `considerations') in the spheres of industrial pollution prevention and reduction; product and process design support; energy efficiency practices, and a host of other aspects, have been developed over the years (Bardouille, 1998). For the purposes of the study, we categorise existing environmental decision tools as Class A and Class B tools, where the former cover those tools dealing with full cost accounting (FCA) or external environmental cost accounting, whilst the latter is comprised of tools concerning total cost accounting (TCA) or environmental management accounting/internal environmental accounting. Class A tools are categorised as external environmental cost accounting tools which focus upon environmental parameters exogenous to a company or industry. These tools are typically macro-level techno-economic optimisation tools applied to large-scale energy systems, and often (but not always) taking into account life-cycle costs. It could be further generalised that each Class A model is characterised by a specific conceptual basis, is designed to serve a particular decision scope and purpose, and is often utilised for long-term energy planning and scenario building. However, Class A also includes models utilised for the general determination of external environmental effects of products and processes, and is not limited to energy production system/environmental optimisation ( Bardouille, 1998). The World Bank Environmental Management Programme ( World Bank, 1998) further groups Class A tools into: • Energy system models (MARKAL, MESSAGE III): focus upon the analysis of energy demand and supply systems in a specific manner. Additional features include the calculation of impacts of planned or existing systems on the environment and health. • Modular packages (ENPEP, LEAP, EcoSense, MESAP, SUPER/OLADE-BID): comprise a number of varying modules, such as macro-economic components and energy supply and demand balances, integrated into one package. One or more modules may be utilised, either independently, or in conjunction with other modules depending on the nature of the analysis. • Integrated tools (MARKAL-MARCO, DECPAC, E3ME): comprise an integrated set of equations, which are solved simultaneously, and generally cover energy–economic–environmental interactions. • Valuation tools (EPS, EM, EXMOD, SimaPro 4, REIM, EcoSense): attempt to place a value (monetary or otherwise) on costs associated with a particular product life-cycle or production chain — they are not limited to determining the effects of or optimising energy systems. Conversely, Class B tools (TRACES, MILA, P2 Finance, DESC, EcoSys and the Paras ToolKit, for example) are environmental management accounting tools targeting environmental parameters and their impacts endogenous to a company. These are essentially total cost assessment or total value assessment (TCA/TVA) tools, which focus upon internal environmental accounting, and are used to assist in investment decisions through: (a) the incorporation of an extended cost inventory, (b) the use of an increased time horizon for investment decisions, (c) the use of profitability indicators which incorporate the time value of money, and (d) the allocation of costs and savings to specific processes and product lines ( Bardouille, 1998; Venkatesan, 1996). According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA, 1996), tools which fall within the Class B grouping can be further divided into several sub-groups, each of which covers a particular aspect of project management and/or environmental management such as: (i) sub-group 1: cost-estimating systems (generally used by project managers for the estimation of conceptual and/or detailed project costs), (ii) sub-group 2: scheduling and cost control/analysis tools (used by project managers to maintain project schedules and budgets according to plan — includes many activity-based costing (ABC) systems), and (iii) sub-group 3: risk assessment and contingency analysis tools (includes generic or statistical uncertainties and project-related risks). Whilst an excellent range of tools exists to provide valuable impetus into the capital investment analysis processes of energy companies (even if they may not have been specifically designed to address the particular needs or aspects of this industry), research shows that many of them lack a holistic approach to the promotion of sustainable investment options. In this regard, Class A tools are more focused upon addressing or, at a minimum, considering the social and environmental concerns stemming from or related to the (power generation) activities (product or process) in question. In many cases, the effects of the entire fuel chain, in other words, the stages both up and down-stream from the actual energy conversion activity, on the ecosystem are also considered in Class A tools. On the other hand, Class B tools overwhelming place the brunt of their attention on internal corporate financially oriented considerations which affect decision-making, and include such justified corporate concerns as risk, capitalising upon the opportunity of internal environmental cost savings, reporting to stakeholders, meeting/surpassing existing or planned regulations, and so on. The vast majority of Class B tools are, thus, overly-simplistic in terms of promoting sustainability, calculating only internal environmental costs for which companies are currently responsible ( Bardouille, 1998). In summary, it appears that no single tool takes into account both internal environmental costs (which are presently of concern to energy companies seeking to reduce their financial losses from poor environmental performance) and external environmental costs (socio-environmental externalities) for which companies are not (yet) financially responsible. 3.2. Research significance for energy companies As discussed in the previous section, steps have been taken towards the development of appropriate tools and models for environmental accounting — both energy-specific and otherwise — by research groups and consultants internationally; there is no lack of environmental decision-support tools. However, to date, it has proven extremely difficult to find cases where sustainable development-oriented investment decision-making is operational in energy companies. What appears to be lacking then in the current situation is a single tool capable of providing support to analysts and decision-makers which lies somewhere in between the extremes of being (i) purely profit-maximising/financially oriented, (ii) only addressing `internal environmental costs' and, (iii) singularly concerned with determining socio-environmental externalities ( Bardouille, 1998). Thus, it seems that further research is needed to firstly identify, and then address, some of the shortcomings of existing models, in order to ensure that companies do indeed adopt and implement decision-support methods designed to reconcile socio-environmental and economic issues — yet which are also simple enough to be used in strategic corporate investment decision-making processes. In order for energy companies to make strategic decisions regarding sustainable future energy services investments, a `healthy-medium’ — which, whilst not disregarding socio-environmental costs, also does not underplay the importance of simplicity for strategic investment decision-making, and, most importantly, investment profitability — must be found. 3.3. The research objective defined Within the larger goal of contributing to the operationalisation of sustainable energy systems, the aim of the present study is the development of a framework for the incorporation of social and environmental considerations into strategic investment decision-making within the power sector. 3 The focus of the research is the examination of existing and development of new tools and methods for the integration of economic (defined here as corporate financial profits), environmental and social aspects into the investment analysis and decision-making process. The tangible output of the study (to be completed by October, 2001) will be a Framework for Sustainable Power Sector Investment Analysis and Decision-Support (hereafter Decision Support Framework), which can be applied by energy companies to increase the sustainability of decisions concerning new power generation capacity. Through the use of this Decision Support Framework, it is envisioned that investments in more sustainable power generation options will be facilitated via the promotion of decisions which are simultaneously financially profitable for companies and socially and environmentally considerate ( Fig. 3).3.3.1. Defining sustainable development for the purposes of the study Before proceeding, we wish to clarify the operational definitions of sustainable development, sustainable energy systems and sustainable energy company which have been adopted for the purposes of the present study. We understand sustainable development to mean the development of natural, human, and economic resources in such a manner that benefits are optimized (rather than simply maximized) whilst, simultaneously, negative impacts are minimized, both presently and in the future. Following therefrom, we define a sustainable energy system as one which seeks to attain a balance between technological, financial, social and environmental aspects of its activities. Hence, the strategy of the sustainable energy company would include an appropriate mix of energy (fuel) sources, distribution systems and construction and decommissioning management in line with our definition of sustainable development. It is based upon these definitions that the present research is undertaken.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Several weaknesses in the Flintränen decision-making process were found. During the analysis of the investment, information was gathered by Sydkraft's decision-makers mainly to cover conventional technological and economical analyses. The reason and extent to which environmental issues were taken into account were to comply with present Swedish legislation for obtaining operational permits, and during actual operation. No additional attention was paid to the externalities caused primarily by the design of the plant, as this is not a requirement currently included in legislation. This research also reveals obstacles that arose during commercial operation of the facility that could have, we believe, been avoided during the early planning/design stage, had specific tools and methods been used (if not to predict in detail than at least to estimate environmental impact originating from the economic activity). To conclude, we feel that Sydkraft decision-makers did not have sufficient information see the full picture of the costs associated with the investment. As a result, both avoidable financial costs to the company, and unnecessary increased risk to internal and external stakeholders (workers, neighbours, the environment, etc.) ensued. The main recommendations for similar decision-making processes in the future are: • develop guidelines for decision-making to improve environmental and social conscious capital budgeting, • incorporate environmental risk assessment of the project in the planning stage, • develop a framework for environmentally oriented design strategies which go beyond simply meeting current regulations, to be used by designers, engineers and planners, • improve present economic information tracking by breaking down overheads accounts and introduce activity-based costing method in accounting, • develop tailor-made project accounting system (based upon the TCA methodology) for major capital investment decisions, • develop costing methods for major external environmental impacts in the project, which can be applied to provide a idea of the tangible costs associated with a given activity, • assess the need for integrative modelling for decision-making purposes, and • develop decision-making optimisation models which consider social, environmental and economic costs simultaneously.