Gas Distribution Benchmarking of Utilities from Slovenia, the Netherlands and the UK: an Application of Data Envelopment Analysis
This paper carries out non-parametric relative efficiency comparisons using an international sample of gas distribution utilities from two old and one new EU members, namely the Netherlands, the UK, and Slovenia. By conducting DEA on a cross-sectional sample of gas utilities, we discover that, on average, Slovenian utilities perform less efficiently than UK and Dutch utilities. To a large extent, this is due to the less extensive regulation of the Slovenian gas industry as seen in the past. The incentive-based price-cap regulation recently introduced in Slovenia could help close this efficiency gap over time. The authors also find out that different model specifications lead to very similar efficiency scores and rankings, implying that benchmarking can be employed as a useful complementary instrument for monitoring utility performance. In this way, the informational asymmetry between distribution utilities and regulatory authorities can be significantly mitigated. For the wider and more successful implementation of international benchmarking in the future, it is also important that coherent regional and international data is made available to regulators.
Emina Mladenović, Martina Zorić, Jelena Čukanović, Ksenija Hiel, Lazar Pavlović and Ivana Sentić
The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of commercial plant growth regulators (PGRs), namely Inict-1 and Incit-5, on the rooting of African violet leaf cuttings (Saintpaulia ionantha H. Wendl.). The production of African violets has grown considerably in recent years, thus it is important to study the most rapid and cost-effective means of mass production. The propagated plant material of the cultivar ‘Nagano’ was treated with Incit-1 and Incit-5. The following parameters were observed: the occurrence of the first root, the number of formed secondary roots and root lengths, the occurrence of the first leaf, and the occurrence of the first flower. The results obtained showed that the use of commercial rooting hormones, namely Incit-1 and Incit-5, exerted positive effects on the duration of rooting, the number of secondary roots formed, and the root lengths of African violets. During the research, it was observed that the rooting durations of all the plants treated with Incit-1 and Incit-5 were 5 days shorter. The results indicate that the plants treated with PGRs necessitate less time to root, less time to produce new leaves, and, consequently, less time to produce flowers.
Ljubiša Veljović, Aleksandra Knežević, Nenad Milić, Dejan Krnjaić, Radoš Miković, Andrea Zorić, Maja Marković, Vesna Milićević, Miodrag Stamenković, Maja Stanojević, Jelena Maksimović-Zorić, Tamaš Petrović and Jakov Nišavić
The presence of bovine parainfluenza virus type 3 (BPIV3) was examined in 119 nasal swabs collected from cattle with severe respiratory infection. All samples were conducted for virus isolation on the MDBK cell line. The cytopathic effect was observed after 48h to 72h in cells inoculated with eight samples (8/119; 6.7%). The confirmation of isolated strains of BPIV3 was done by the virus-neutralization test. In addition, all samples of bovine nasal swabs were also examined for the presence of BPIV3 virus using RT-PCR with primers specific for the part of HN gene. The presence of BPIV3 was detected in eight samples (8/119; 6.7%) that were also positive upon virus isolation. The molecular characterization based on nucleotide sequencing of the part of the HN gene showed that all BPIV3 isolates belonged to genotype C of BPIV3. They branched in one distinct cluster with three different branches, but these branches were very similar to each other (98.1% to 99.8%). Serbian BPIV3c isolates were most similar to the Chinese BPIV3c isolates SD0805, SD0809 and SD0835 (from 97.92% to 99.7%), and to South Korean (12Q061), Japanese (HS9) and American (TVMDL16 and TVMDL20) BPIV3c strains (from 97.1% to 98.8%), and distinct from American (TVMDL15and TVMDL17) and Australian (Q5592) BPI3V genotype B strains (only 79.9% to 82.3% similarity), as well as from the genotype A BPIV3 strains from different countries published in GenBank.