Building an effective energy efficiency governance in EU

Yesterday the EU leaders met to discuss the European “Energy 2020” strategy, which will set, inter alia, future priorities on energy policy and market. As this “Energy Summit” was approaching, the debate among Member States on the adoption of a binding energy efficiency target quickly revamped. Indeed, despite the EU already committed to a 20 percent reduction in energy consumption by 2020, this is the only target included in the “20-20-20 package” which is not binding. As a consequence of the huge differences among Member States on this issue, the Council decided to postpone to 2013 the revision of the implementation of the target previously planned in 2012.
However, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), energy efficiency is actually the most important element for meeting the 450 ppm CO2eq Scenario, required to limit average temperature rise to 2°C. This energy efficiency contribution will come from three main sources: market mechanisms, sectoral agreements and national energy efficiency policies.
Despite OECD countries have made substantial progress in developing and implementing energy efficiency actions, even those with the most advanced policies will remain on trajectories that limit them to achieving less than half of the efficiency savings needed by 2020. Through the evaluation of case studies, survey and interviews, IEA concludes that these unsuccessful outcomes are mainly due to the lack of an effective system of energy efficiency governance. For this reason, the report analyses the three key aspects of energy efficiency governance and proposes a number of enabling frameworks, institutional arrangements and co-ordination mechanisms, that would contribute to improve European energy efficiency  policy success.

Requirements for an effective energy efficiency governance scheme

   I.  Enabling framework:

  • Confer sufficient authority to implement energy efficiency policies and programmes;
  • Build political consensus on goals and strategy;
  • Reflect country context and sectoral issues;

   II. Institutional arrangement:

  • Simplify procedures and establish condition to mobilise both energy providers and stakeholders;
  • Create effective public-private partnerships (PPPs) for policy development and programme implementation;

   III. Co-ordination mechanism:

  • Identify the strengths of each government level;
  • Clearly assign responsibilities and create accountability;
  • Mobilise resources needed for policy implementation;
  • Establish a means to oversee results.