Energy Efficiency and Climate Change: Conserving Power for a Sustainable Future
Publication Year: 2009
This book deals with a gamut of issues related to energy efficiency, development, and environment with a view to provide a systematic framework for the efficient utilization of energy. While analyzing the barriers and drivers for energy-efficiency investments, it focuses on mobilization of private capital and the commercialization of energy-efficiency technologies. It also links the issue with the climate debate in terms of its causes, outcomes, policy initiatives, mitigation, and adaptation methodologies.
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Energy, Economy and the Environment: An Introduction
- Chapter 2: Climate Debate
- Chapter 3: Win-Win Climate Policy
- Chapter 4: Fundamentals of Energy Efficiency
- Chapter 5: The Benefits and Drawbacks of Energy Efficiency
- Chapter 6: The Concept of Barriers and Drivers and its Application to Energy Efficiency
- Chapter 7: Energy Efficiency and International Environmental Law
- Chapter 8: Commercializing Clean Energy Technologies
- Chapter 9: Financing Energy Efficiency in Transition Economies
- Chapter 10: The Role of Institutions in Promoting Energy Efficiency
Copyright © B. Sudhakara Reddy, Gaudenz B. Assenza, Dora Assenza and Franziska Hasselmann, 2009
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
First published in 2009 by
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Energy efficiency and climate change: conserving power for a sustainable future/B. Sudhakara Reddy … [et al.].
Includes bibliographical references and index.
1. Energy conservation. 2. Energy policy. 3. Climatic changes—Prevention.
I. Sudhakara Reddy, B.
TJ163. 3E4365 363. 738'746—dc22 2009 2009032025
ISBN: 978-81-321-0228-1 (HB)
The SAGE Team: Elina Majumdar, Manali Das, Anju Saxena and Trinankur Banerjee
List of Tables[Page vi]
- 2.1 Great weather disasters, 1950–2001 45
- 2.2 Projected climate change impacts compared to other environmental problems 48
- 4.1 Functions of the actors in energy efficiency 97
- 4.2 Overview of factors fostering the implementation of EE programmes 101
- 4.3 Features of the energy sector relevant to policy 103
- 5.1 Positive aspects of energy efficiency 115
- 5.2 History of corporate environmentalism 124
- 5.3 Potential savings due to increase in supply-side efficiency 125
- 5.4 Potential savings due to increase in demand-side efficiency 126
- 5.5 Potential savings due to other options 128
- 5.6 Employment benefits in EU countries due to energy efficiency 132
- 5.7 Energy-efficient homes vs. typical homes 135
- 5.8 Energy efficiency projects 138
- 5.9 Externalities of energy efficiency 145
- 6.1 Variables in the causal model (examples) 172
- 7.1 Emissions reduction obligation under Annex B to Kyoto Protocol 198
- 8.1 Technology commercialization model 222
- 9.1 Regional allocation of concessional flows, 1990–1999 246
- 10.1 Components of a sound performance analysis 281
List of Figures[Page vii]
- 1.1 Energy outlook in 2030 6
- 1.2 World energy investment, 2005–2030 9
- 1.3 Fuel share in energy investment requirements, 2005–2030 10
- 1.4 Share of energy investment of different countries and groups, 2005–2030 11
- 2.1 Trends in economic and insured losses, 1950–2004 46
- 2.2 Trend in annual frequency of great natural catastrophes, 1950–2004 47
- 2.3 Per capita CO2 emissions by Annex 1 and non-Annex 1 countries 52
- 2.4 Recommendations to financial institutions and governments 54
- 3.1 Fisher's time-preference theory of interest 60
- 3.2 Cost-benefit of a cleaner technology project 73
- 4.1 Characterization of energy efficiency potential 84
- 4.2 Technology choices for private sector investment in energy efficiency 91
- 4.3 Inter-relationships among actors 94
- 4.4 Actors' perspectives 95
- 4.5 Actor–factor influence state diagram 98
- 4.6 Research environments 105
- 4A.1 Comparison of energy and entropy flows of (a) electric furnace and (b) heat pump 108
- 4A.2 World-wide averages of second-law efficiencies for the generation and transformation of electricity into energy services 110
- 5.1 Methodology of selecting projects 140
- 5.2 Benefits to various stakeholders—Local and global 141
- 6.1 Schematic representation of profitability barriers 159
- 6.2 Schematic representation of feasibility barriers 160 [Page viii]
- 6.3 Targeting micro, meso and macro barriers 163
- 6.4 Structure of causal model 166
- 6.5 Causal linkages 171
- 7.1 The CDM project cycle 207
- 8.1 The chain from basic research to commercialization 218
- 8.2 Technology diffusion curve 220
- 9.1 Net long-term flows to developing countries, 1995–2004 245
- 9.2 Sources of risk in energy efficiency investments 248
- 9.3 Role of local financial institutions 250
- 9.4 Role of ESCOs 251
- 9.5 The functions of ESCO 252
- 9.6 International ESCO and local partner 253
- 9.7 Financing channels 262
- 9.8 Pre-offer financial analysis 264
- 10.1 Institutions involved in energy efficiency 275
- 10.2 Roles of utilities 277
List of Boxes[Page ix]
- 1.1 Flow-on benefits to promote energy efficient practices 24
- 4.1 Key reasons for advocating EE 81
- 4.2 Ingredients of the techno-economic model of change 89
- 5.1 Energy efficiency and the indoor environment 116
- 5.2 Benefits of EE for business establishments 122
- 5.3 Trade-off between a technology and service—An example 136
- 6.1 The case of Hungary 181
- 7.1 Standardized procedures for small-scale energy-efficiency projects proposed by the CDM Executive Board 209
- 8.1 Luz International Limited—A failure story 226
- 8.2 Case: The commercialization of the Internet 235
- 9.1 ‘Securitizing’ the savings stream, developing financial structures and credit enhancements to support EE project loans 249
- 10.1 Performance evaluation 284
- 10.2 Performance description 285
- 10.3 Performance prediction 285
- 10.4 Performance prescription 285
Arising from the ashes of the Second World War, the industrialized countries embarked on an epoch of unprecedented growth and stability, but seem to have ignored emergencies, the predominant pattern being to live as if there was no tomorrow.
Individuals, companies and nations borrowed with abandon, not realizing how overuse of energy, over-consumption of goods and resources and lack of ecological stewardship will destabilize the very fundamentals of prosperity in the future.
In pursuit of development, industrialized nations exploited natural resources unhindered. And today, it's the turn of the nature to react to its over-exploitation in the form of devastating changes in the climate. The developing countries that have very limited role in destroying the nature are caught in a great dilemma. With high vulnerability neither these countries can ignore climate change nor can they withstand its devastating changes. While struggling to meet the basic needs of their people, these countries are in a catch-22 situation (spurging is not an option). This book attempts to answer this dilemma of developing countries through sustainable market-based energy-efficiency (EE) solutions.
This book discusses the factor of energy, which drives all economies. Energy and development are correlated and the causation is both ways. More efficient energy use enhances production, promotes economic development and improves the standard of living. Energy is closely linked to economic opportunity, security and empowerment. Energy services are essential to both social and economic development and wider access to them is critical in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and thereby assist in sustainable human development.
The future of energy seems uncertain. At the beginning of the 20th century, nuclear energy was unheard of. Today, the world abounds in nuclear reactors. Similarly, even to imagine the kind of life possible without petroleum products is extremely frightening. Although previous concerns about global energy scarcity have proved unfounded, there is a fierce debate [Page xi]whether the peak of oil utilization has already been reached, or whether oil extraction will still increase for years or perhaps even decades. Fossil fuels may never be fully exhausted, but their quality and accessibility are declining, and their end is most likely to be caused by demand constraints rather than resource limitations.
After the reckless use of this scarce resource, modern society is now struggling to identify new energy resources. Global warming, acid rain, radioactive waste and other issues increasingly influence energy policies in the new world. The challenges of resource scarcity and environmental sustainability, have made the future of energy policy a hot topic among policy makers and academics. Understanding energy demand and how efficient use of energy is used is of interest to policy makers as both aspects influence economic development, environment and sustainability.
Researchers and policy makers have turned their attention to the more efficient utilization of existing energy supplies to help meet society's energy needs. Depending on the system and user investigated, it may be more economical to make efficient use of existing energy resources and reduce waste rather than develop new energy supplies to meet growing energy demand. EE investments can have broader societal benefits in addition to reduced energy costs. More efficient utilization of energy often leads to improved productivity and competitiveness in business and helps avoid or reduce environmental impacts associated with the extraction, delivery and combustion of fossil fuels. Yet, policies or programmes to increase EE often face daunting institutional, behavioural, financial and cultural barriers to their adoption.
The global financial crisis and global warming arose from the same unsustainable economic policies, which aimed to maximize short-term growth at the expense of long-term development. This book shows that economic growth is not necessarily incompatible with sustainable development. The question is not whether growth or the environment is more important, but how the economy can become environmentally and socially sustainable. The volume shows that the real choice facing policy makers is between sustainable forms of economic development and unsustainable ones. It provides a systematic framework for students, policy makers, academics and others interested in the efficient utilization of energy.
Chapter 1 of the volume introduces the key issues to be addressed in the subsequent discussions, that is, the interrelations among the environment, economy and energy (the three ‘Es’). The next two chapters deal with the ‘great climate debate’ and discuss clashing positions represented by sceptics and supporters of action on climate change. The discussion focuses on [Page xii]market-based measures as a means to increase the win-win opportunities and to attract investors to invest in climate change mitigation. Chapter 4 provides an overview of the fundamentals of EE. Chapters 5 and 6 develop a new systematic classification and explanation of benefits and drawbacks to EE. The topic of EE is approached with the aim of understanding the barriers to and the drivers for EE investments. The chapters try to identify (a) the drivers and barriers that affect the success or failure of EE investments and (b) the institutions that are responsible for the emergence of these barriers and drivers. This taxonomy aims to synthesize ideas from three broad perspectives, namely, micro (project/end user), meso (organization) and macro (state, market and civil society). Chapter 7 looks at the relationship between international environmental law and EE. A detailed treatment of the prerequisites for adopting a private sector-driven ‘business model’ approach for the successful diffusion of sustainable energy technologies (SETs) is presented in Chapter 8. Emphasis is laid on the mobilization of private capital and the commercialization of energy-efficient technologies (EETs). This private sector perspective is critical to reduce the burden on state budgets, which are creaking under the weight of numerous demands of urgent nature. This is expected to integrate the processes of market transformation and entrepreneurship development with innovative regulatory, marketing, financing, incentive and intermediary mechanisms. Chapter 9 discusses the linkages between EE and the financing mechanism. It shows how to tap the dynamism, innovation and power of markets for promoting EE and environmental concerns. It helps institutions that are involved in EE to identify and assess promising market opportunities, find local partners that are critical for success, package projects to make them attractive to lenders and investors and find sources of financing. Chapter 10 discusses the lessons of experience of institutions in supporting energy-efficient technologies. The emphasis is on analyzing the performance of organizations, particularly multilateral institutions (MIs) in promoting EETs.
Many policies adopted in response to the global financial crisis are of a short-term nature, based on saving dirty industries with low or no profit-ability, while neglecting opportunities in EE, clean energy and intelligent resource management. The advantage of the EE approach is that it looks at real needs and at real human development. It provides value for money, for consumers, businesses and governments. For several decades, EE has been a growth industry creating new jobs at an ever-faster rate. Nevertheless, many governments, firms and consumers neglected the energy savings potential due to a complex web of barriers. These barriers are discussed here. The volume examines the approaches around the world that succeeded and failed, and draws lessons about the way to proceed.
[Page xiii]In energy and environmental policy, the choice is between continuing the status quo, with most resources invested into fossil fuels, or promoting new forms of energy, especially renewable energy (megawatts) and EE (negawatts). To achieve win-win outcomes, which combine positive economic and environmental effects, policy makers can choose among a range of instruments, such as emissions trading, taxes, subsidies, command and control instruments, information mechanisms and voluntary mechanisms. This book explores public policy and technologies from the perspective of current political, economic and cultural realities as well as likely future trends. It argues that governments and firms can prosper and strengthen their security by investing in the growing green world market, securing patents for green technologies and adopting climate change measures that overall create more jobs than they destroy.
We are indebted to the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India, and the collaborating universities, in particular Palacky University in Olomouc (Czech Republic) and the Catholic University of Ružomberok (Slovakia), including the faculty and staff of the respective organizations for their support of our efforts in writing this book and for providing all the necessary facilities that we all, too often, take for granted.
There are some people who are mentors. The influence of the late Prof. Amulya K. N. Reddy (research supervisor of the first author) on the work described here is extremely significant. Prof. Reddy, a pioneer in the field, first introduced the first author to the issue of EE on which he had been engaged for some 20 years. For this, he is deeply indebted to him. There are others who provided important ideas. They include Dr. Eric Ferguson, The Netherlands; Dr. P. Balachandra, Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Science; Mr. K. Sreenivasa Rao, assistant editor, Journal of the Indian Institute of Science (JIISc), Bangalore, India and Mr. Hippu Salk Kristle Nathan (IGIDR, Mumbai) who have contributed to this book through technical and philosophical discussions of different parts of it. We offer them our sincere gratitude. The assistance of Tatyana Golubenko and the comments of Beatrice Maalouf in developing an early partial draft are gratefully acknowledged. We would like to thank Thomson Publishing Service, UK and Elsevier Science Publisher, UK, for permission to reproduce published material in Chapter 4 and Chapter 5. We thank Ms. Manali Das, Ms. Elina Majumdar and Ms. Meena Chakravorty and others at SAGE publications, New Delhi, for excellent handling of the publication of this volume.
Last and most of all, BSR offers a special word of thanks to his wife, Lalitha, and sons, Sandeep and Siddarth, for the loving family environment [Page xiv]that afforded him the tranquillity and peace of mind that made the writing possible. It is a pleasure to acknowledge their contribution and to thank them for it., , ,
Epilogue: Road to a Sustainable Future: A Systematic Understanding of Energy Efficiency and Climate Change[Page 305]
Human beings influence the climate through many activities. Though technological solutions exist, inefficient practices adapted by social, economic, informational and institutional actions hinder their penetration. We also believe that policies do have the required leverage to influence the energy path and a significant reduction of energy consumption levels can be achieved if such policies are promoted. Active intervention in markets and private capital mobilization are critical complements to policies. For students, policy makers, researchers, practitioners and all those who have interest in a sustainable future, a roadmap, based on energy efficiency, has been outlined here to attain sustainable development. A broad, in-depth and systematic understanding is attempted keeping the approaches simple, fundamental and promising. Although the reader is challenged to create a new knowledge by critically adapting his/her own experiences to the relatively complex contents of previous chapters, the central messages are provided here.[Page 306]Accelerating Technology Solutions
It is important to accelerate technological diffusion and to get consumers to pay attention to climate change issues.
A sustainable energy future cannot be understood in terms of technology alone. A strong interaction exists among energy, economy, environment, technology, geopolitics and sustainability. However, for a sustainable energy future, technological solutions are at the heart of an energy efficiency approach. Technology is the primary means to increase efficiency by increasing useful output or decreasing waste per unit input, that is, maximizing energy utilization. Other managerial measures of efficiency improvements are secondary and cannot achieve much without higher technological efficiency underneath. Energy is embedded in many aspects of human life and its efficient utilization is important from a variety of viewpoints, for example, energy–environment linkage. Energy production and use account for nearly 50 per cent of the human-caused increase in greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere. Acid rain and air pollution are further side effects. It is estimated that, by using the most advanced technologies, a CO2 reduction of about 50 per cent is possible until the year 20501 and that the‘(…) average equipment used in the household sector in European Union (EU) countries is 50 per cent less efficient than the best equipment currently sold’.2 For all humans valuing future lives this is a key argument.
Looking at current energy use trends and resource reserves, the main question is not about the period of depletion of coal, oil and gas stocks, but about the substitution by a combination of alternative energy sources, efficient technologies, lightweight materials and other advanced technologies. This approach requires action across all sectors of the economy, from electricity and transportation to agriculture. The successful development of these technologies requires substantial new investments in research, incentives for producers and consumers and emission reduction requirements to drive innovation. Governments at all levels need to encourage short-term action to reduce emissions while laying the groundwork for a longer-term technology revolution.
In recent years, a number of trends have accelerated the utilization of energy-efficient technologies. ‘Technology push’ programmes, supported by subsidies, have created niche markets for otherwise expensive renewable [Page 307]energy technologies in many developing countries. While the quantitative impact of these systems may appear quite small, analysts argue that the most significant achievement of the renewable energy programme is the creation of domestic capacity that could sustain renewable energy markets in the future.
1 Martinot 2000.
2 EC 2000, 142.Geopolitics and Global Energy Security
Understanding of energy security relies on geographical diversification of energy supplies, sources and stability of prices.
Since the extraction and burning of coal started, energy is powering the world economy. Depletion of stocks and global energy supplies make countries vulnerable to disruptive events, no matter where they take place. The first oil crisis of 1973 or the invasion of Iraq in 2003 exemplified the consequences for nations when energy supply became uncertain. Therefore, national security must be interpreted in terms of economic vulnerability, which is linked to dependence on energy. Although energy security focuses on energy vulnerability rather than on energy imports, there may be economic and political incentives to reduce energy imports. As fears about the stability of the world's energy resources grow, policy makers may integrate these security concerns into the climate change policies. If policy makers promise incentives for domestic energy sources and discourage energy imports, they have to choose different climate policies. In addition to the inefficiencies in carbon abatement policies, there may also be a global inefficiency associated with a country's energy imports and exports. If governments seek to minimize their own costs rather than the world's costs, they may choose substantially different abatement policies than are assumed in most climate change studies. Whether a country agrees to a target for a given amount of carbon abatement (focusing on quantity) or to reach a given marginal benefit associated with carbon abatement (focusing on the carbon price), it has an incentive to choose policies that deviate from those which would minimize world cost. Rather than simply abating on the basis of carbon intensity, the country may cut emissions more with those imported fuels and less with exported ones.
This shows that climate change can be a geopolitical problem and the potential ramifications of its impacts on security are significant. Under these circumstances, a stage can be set for intense competition for resources among countries seeking to secure their energy supply by diversifying [Page 308]sources and areas of origin. The spatial politics of reducing GHG emissions should be looked into through an overview of the positions of the main actors in negotiations on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). These positions cannot be understood merely as the product of rational choices made by disembodied states. For this, a subaltern and class-based view of climate geopolitics is necessary that stresses on a local and social problem as much as it is a global environmental problem is necessary.Improving Theories and Models
There is a need for strategies to refine the models on which policies and programmes are based. That results from analyses and an understanding of past and current assumptions underlying energy efficiency and climate change approaches.
Models of the world at the end guide actions upon the world. Careful and continuous refining of models should be an obvious task to any responsible thinker. Refining models hold potentials for new actions. This holds true for climate change models as well. Analyzing and understanding models—their logic and method—and to propose counterarguments for every argument is a fundamental precondition for refining existing ones and therefore policy programmes and actions. Several models on different levels of detail exist in the climate change field. We discuss some.
Actions on climate change. Whether, how and when to act on climate change is an ongoing debate. Clashing positions represented by sceptics and supporters of action on climate change are built around different assumptions about the need for more scientific knowledge, alternative explanations of climate change, the precautionary principle, trade-offs of costs and benefits of climate change.
Climate change mitigation. At the heart of climate change mitigation lie assumptions about costs. These assumptions are inputs into environment– economic models as well as economic decision support systems in view of energy efficiency investments. Estimations of net economic costs vary from a high value to zero depending partly on assumptions about discount rates. Irving Fisher's time-preference theory of interest shows that discounting is related to how much value one places on current relative to future lives. The scenario envisaged by Nordhaus (1991) serves as an example: a discount rate of 4 per cent suggests that at an efficient level of tax is USD 2.44 per ton of carbon; the result would be a less than 5 per cent decrease in emissions compared to business as usual. A discount rate of zero, however, suggests an [Page 309]efficient tax of USD 65.94 per ton of carbon which would lower emissions by one third.3 Consumers as well as business and industrial organizations evaluate the cost effectiveness of energy efficiency (EE) measures. Most consumers make investment decisions without direct reference to discount rates and discounted capital flows. Business and industrial organizations often use rates of return or payback period for evaluations. However, often more stringent investment criteria are applied to EE investments than to production investments.
Governmental intervention. The justification of governmental intervention is partly based on the existence of market barriers to the introduction of EE measures and technologies. The extent to which the non-application of efficient technologies can be dedicated to market failures is under dispute. Some argue that the freedom of the consumer to choose products depending on the lifestyle convenience is also responsible as people stick to conventional technologies regardless of EE indicators of alternatives. Techno-economic models of technology diffusion assume rational and comprehensively informed consumer decisions. The challenge of reconciling government and free market contributions with regard to the energy market and EE remains. More empirical certainty could increase the effectiveness of both—policy and market-based mechanisms.Survival Strategy
For a successful diffusion of EE measures it is important to understand attitudes, behaviour, consumer preference and ways to change them.
Underlying every policy, legislative proposal, programme and economic model is a set of assumptions about how organizations and individuals behave and change. Hence, it is important to review the current assumptions and ‘common knowledge’ underlying energy and climate change approaches and discuss emerging strategies to refine the models on which policies and programmes are based. Studies of consumer preferences reveal that often non-energy benefits motivate decisions to adopt energy efficient measures. Those include: (a) improved indoor environment, comfort, health, safety and productivity; (b) reduced noise; (c) labour and time savings; (d) improved process control; (e) increased reliability, amenity or convenience and (f) direct and indirect economic benefits from downsizing or elimination of equipment. Further, technology appeal was found to be important. [Page 310]These non-economic motivations dominate the decisions primarily of high-income groups. Modern and fashionable technology designs appeal to consumers and there is a higher probability of consumers purchasing the technology.
3 Nordhaus 1991.
Behavioural theory suggests real world programming to speed diffusion of innovation. For greater diffusion of EE measures, it is important to combine the understanding of social norms with network analysis and map social chains of communication and power which can help policy makers catalyze voluntary behaviour changes more quickly. Education and information can accelerate citizen awareness and empower people to act. However, the truism that ‘knowledge is power’, while encouraging the sharing of information, tends to overlook the complexities of effective communication that can successfully move people to action. Even if there is a broad agreement that behaviour, choice and human action are key to affecting climate change, it's another thing altogether to actually incorporate behavioural change into EE policy and programmes. There are real questions about whether we know enough about behaviour to see it as a reliable resource. Can behaviour changes result in persistent savings? How do ‘behavioural’ interventions such as social marketing (that rely on voluntary action) compare to traditional ‘technology’ programmes (that often involve subsidies)? Can the behaviour and technology approaches exist side-by-side, or should they be integrated? Should they be evaluated by the same standards? Does better understanding of behaviour force us to rethink well-tooled energy planning concepts, such as ‘free ridership’, ‘non-energy benefits’, ‘market transformation effects’ and ‘spill-overs’? What are the barriers to improved behavioural interventions as well the traps and perverse disincentives found in current (and emerging) markets? How does concern about global warming change this picture? To find answers to these questions, one has to probe the opinions, attitudes and preferences of individuals. It should look at public opinions and attitudes about energy efficiency and global warming, how they are changing and the conditions under which changes in attitude are likely to translate into climate-positive actions. We should also explore segmentation analysis—especially what it reveals about the different ways people respond to policy and programme communications—and suggest new approaches needed to move beyond ‘preaching to the choir’.Individual Interests Versus Societal Interests
Diffusion of EE measures depends mainly on human interaction for acceptance and behaviour.
[Page 311]Energy efficiency investment has effects of society-wide interest that can be used by policy makers to catalyze voluntary behaviour. In a free market, customers will get the best price and can buy only the goods and services they wish to buy. However, the free market approach only works if the market for efficiency is structured in such a way that customers can actually express their desire for EE through purchases. This type of market structure does not exist in many parts of the world. EE measures can help to restructure and revamp the existing relatively small market for energy efficiency products into a free market. EE measures can create significant employment opportunities too. New jobs can be created especially in manufacturing and construction sectors. This is particularly the case where EE projects can demonstrate positive impacts for social groups currently disadvantaged in the employment market, for example, those with low skills and fewer qualifications, living in economically deprived areas with energy starved conditioning.
In case of societal interests, EE measures cannot help reduce pollution levels, but can provide significant benefits for local economies. If expenditure on energy is reduced, the savings will improve the performance of the local economy via the ‘multiplier effect’ to the extent the savings are spent in the local economy. The multiplier effect is an economic phenomenon characteristic of all economies, relating the spending and re-spending effects of money on the output of local economies. Also, the expenditure on energy efficiency improvements itself will improve the local economic performance because the materials and labour for those improvements are likely to come from the local economy. In today's global markets, economic growth is synonymous with efficient energy production, delivery and use. It enables increased output from power transmitters, electrical cables, motors and production units. On the supply side, it is no coincidence that energy production and delivery efficiency is higher in more developed economies.Leveraging Past Lessons for Future Action
To be successful in an EE approach to a sustainable energy future we need to learn from past experiences.
The success and effective period of energy efficiency programmes depend on the circumstances of each programme. However, there are lessons from past energy efficiency programmes which can serve as general guidelines.
Focus on people. One of the main lessons to learn is the need to focus on people. Individuals and local organizations that help support a programme [Page 312]during its lifetime and their motivation and commitment to programme affected by direct and indirect benefits need to be addressed. As a diverse group of stakeholders (government officials, project managers, non-profit organizations, community groups, project participants and international policy makers) are involved in EE programmes, looking at the perspectives of various actors should help improve the credibility of the programme as well as facilitate the review of EE programmes.
Collaborate. From a governmental perspective, programmes addressing the business sector are found to be most effective if taking place in form of collaborations, thereby, supporting investments in financial infrastructure. Some successful models have included financial support to help businesses to switch to more efficient systems. Energy service companies, leasing programmes, guarantee funds and insurance mechanisms are some such models which can play a critical role in the phase of transformation.
Focus on areas and mechanisms of high effectiveness. Governmental programmes need to analyze sectors carefully to find out where the sources of high effectiveness for EE measures lie. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has attracted considerable private sector interest. The mechanism has the potential to become a powerful instrument for foreign direct investment and technology transfer. Private sector involvement in the CDM is successful as it is project based and inherent risks are reduced by assured credits, minimum overheads, flexibility, transparency and simplicity, an appeal mechanism and stability.
Evaluate options and develop institutional and technical capabilities. At the country level, critical steps for successful government-driven programmes are (a) to identify and evaluate various efficient options; (b) to develop specific investment projects and related institutional designs for selected policy options; and (c) to strengthen the institutional and technical capabilities. For the EE programme to become successful the following conditions have to be met: (a) significant energy savings; (b) be cost effective; (c) be comprehensive; (d) achieve all cost-effective savings available in each customer interaction; (e) be preferably large scale; (f) create EE capability as well as capture present savings; (g) be monitored and evaluated; (h) provide continuous improvement and (i) pay particular attention to prevent lost opportunities.
Include non-price factors. Often consumers do not base their investment decisions solely on price. Many considerations play a role in the consumer's decision making, such as education, social status, convenience, feeling of competence and interest in new technologies as well as health and safety concerns. To be successful, EE programmes need to include other non-price [Page 313]factors such as awareness about environmental issues, energy consumption and on how to control and reduce energy waste.Integrating Climate Policies with Development PrioritiesDevelopment vs. Environment
In the interest of global sustainability and moving on to environmentally more desirable paths, the concept of economic and social development should be the top priority for developing countries. This means that the issue of climate change must be viewed through the lens of human development. The challenge for such a type of development is the practical question of choosing sustainable pathways that provide food and energy security, employment opportunities and at the same time minimize environmental impacts. Instead of focusing attention on policies to reduce climate change risks, the starting point should be development issues that are vital the economic development and how this can be achieved in an environment-friendly manner. This means that environmental policies should be derived from development priorities. This needs a conceptual framework that places sustainable human development before climate change by reversing the existing framework. For that one has to find out alternative and cleaner pathways to achieve sustainable development goals that can also contribute to climate change goals. To achieve this objective, one has to reframe the global climate change debate as deriving from and complementing development priorities which can be approached at multiple levels and from various perspectives and should take into consideration the rapid economic growth to be achieved by developing countries. There is also the need to build scientific and technical capacity, advance scientific knowledge, and linking economic, social, technological perspectives with policy making. This ‘reversal thinking’ should map development, equity and vulnerability on to GHG emission problem. The determinants of this include financial resources, technology and importantly the availability of trained persons to use them effectively. Access to information and institutional mechanism (legal, social, and so on) is also important.
For developing countries, climate change remains marginal to the pressing issues of poverty, natural resource management, food security, energy needs and access to modern transport or land use that takes into consideration development, equity and vulnerability and capture the [Page 314]attention of leading stakeholders. Presently, the cooperation efforts and analyses of climate change policies have been driven uniquely by concerns of the developed countries. From this perspective, related ancillary benefits in energy efficiency, and health impacts of local air pollution may be significant and promote actions, but they are only of secondary importance in that they may reduce the total costs of compliance with climate change commitments. Such an approach will have limited success in developing countries. The challenge then is to have integrated development and environmental policies so that the developing countries can stay on the path that minimizes the local and global environmental costs of relieving poverty, providing adequate food, supplying electricity to households and industry, and providing employment and transportation facilities consistent with the needs of the people of developing countries. It may not be easy to reframe global environmental policies as deriving from development priorities and solve the climate change problem. However, this new framework suggests that global collaboration on climate change should be approached at multiple levels through local and national development projects as well as through multilateral efforts to establish cooperation mechanisms within an equitable and efficient global climate change regime.
According to this approach, a less-polarized way of meeting the challenges of sustainable development and climate change is necessary to build environmental and climate policy upon development priorities that are crucial to the billions of people from the developing world. For example, international financiers should prioritize projects that have a low financial cost per unit of GHG emission reduction, while national stakeholders are keen on national benefits of the activity in the form of employment generation, social development and local environmental improvements. Following that, it will be relevant to measure multiple financial, economic, social and environmental benefits of mitigation policies and then negotiation can take place between national stakeholders and international financiers to develop a portfolio of policy options that balance sustainable development and climate change policy priorities. Another issue is that of generalized methodologies. The parameters that are included in the models vary significantly by nation and region, and with time. Hence, it is important to develop localized models of environmental impacts, population exposure, preferences and valuation. This type of methodology is useful in understanding synergies and trade-offs between global and local environmental policies. Research is required on inter-linkages between sustainable development and climate change policies.
[Page 315]However, a number of barriers—technical, financial and capacity—exist for implementing these initiatives.4 Barrier removal is an essential part of technology transfer and efficiency improvement. In this regard, governmental sector participation in technology diffusion should be seen as a way of obtaining economic, environmental and social benefits of clean technologies since private sector cannot be expected to bear the full transaction cost for barrier removal. To achieve this, policy makers need to design appropriate policy measures to promote cleaner technologies. There are also chicken and egg problems facing energy efficiency and renewable energy technology (RET) markets. On the one hand, the capital markets will not finance RET projects in the absence of a sufficient volume. On the other, the market for RET projects will not develop to be of a sufficient volume in the absence of adequate financing. Such issues have to be addressed. An innovative financial, institutional and implementational mechanism is needed that can support such integrated objectives.
If such an approach were successful in altering development paths, the climate benefits will be substantial. In fact, the scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggest that the type of development path taken by a country is more significant in terms of long-term emissions than explicit mitigation measures.5Policy: Reflections and Future Directions
There is a need for using sustainable development as a framework for climate change policies. Regarding the principle of sustainable development, creating a system and making it acceptable to all is of paramount importance. This creates a huge ethical problem. A rich person in a developed country can complain bitterly about the way poor countries allow their environment to be destroyed by economic development. On the contrary, a poor person in a developing country, ever uncertain of his next meal, health care, education, will rejoice at any improvement in the situation, and is unlikely to be concerned about damage to the environmental damage unless it affects his livelihood. How do we balance the short-term benefits of the population with the long-term interests of preserving the environment? In such a situation, the framework that is developed should reflect the needs [Page 316]of developing countries and provide a constructive basis for combining the policies of local development and global climate change. For the implementation of such a framework the international climate change policies should be linked to sustainable development. There is also a need for a more systematic assessment of various institutions, market instruments and regulatory frameworks that can be used to support the implementation of these policies.
4 Reddy 2003.
5 IPCC 2007.
A goal to ‘stabilize world climate’ is misplaced, not to mention its unattainable nature. Climate is a dynamic system within which extreme events and dramatic changes will always occur, irrespective of human actions or preferences. It is widely agreed that the climate is changing but its future trajectory and impacts on the environment and society remain uncertain.6 There can be little doubt ‘(…) that man is capable of influencing the climate through human activities of many different kinds’.7 Although a matter of some debate with regard to the data reliability, the curve of the global mean temperature has been rising since 1861 and although no single explanation for global warming can be given the greenhouse effect is a plausible one. This effect is attributed to the GHGs CO2, CH4, N2, O, O3 and FCCs.8
The clash between sceptics and supporters is likely to endure, and may even become more pitched as the stakes on climate change are raised. The expansion of scientific knowledge is unlikely to end the debate, as each side will get more data to confirm their case. Sceptics will continue to assail supporters for blending science with environmental activism, and supporters will maintain their doubts about the scientific credibility of sceptics because of their likely links to vested economic interests.
Regardless of who is right in this debate, each side is valuable to the other. Like any democratic set-up, a vocal group of contrarians is necessary to achieve scientific progress, since it forces supporters to improve their science and vice versa. It is necessary to point out the flaws in assumptions, logic and method, and to propose counter-arguments for every argument. The problem is not the scientific controversy, but the way in which science is used by economic and political interests, and the risk that scientists could become pawns in a high-stakes political game.
Development may well be a better strategy for reducing the impacts of climate change than focusing on CHG emission reduction. Developing countries, with less ability to prosper, afford and use new technologies, [Page 317]have higher rates of hunger; poorer public health services; greater incidence of infectious and parasitic diseases; less access to education, safe water or sanitation; and, therefore, greater mortality rates and lower life expectancies. It is a proven fact that there are a large number of ‘no-regret options’ waiting to be exploited. These options have the potential to be welcomed by sceptics, supporters as well as neutral observers as they provide the dual benefit of economic improvement of the masses and climate change mitigation, a concept of win-win situation. Hence, the resources that are spent on emission reduction for the sake of avoiding impacts are better spent on vulnerability reduction in developing countries. This approach would enhance societies' abilities to cope not only with climate change but also adversity in general, regardless of its cause, or whether it's man-made or not. Such a multifaceted and holistic approach would help to improve the lives of people living in poverty, without compromising the ability to address future challenges, whether caused by climate change or something else.
6 Heal and Kriström 2002, 3; Santamouris 2001, 22.
7 Santamouris 2001, 19.
8 Ibid., 25.
To compare the two strategies to reduce the impact of climate change, one has to address the trade-off between environmental protection and development in general, or even between emission reduction and development aid. In a narrow sense, cutting emissions helps alleviating malaria and water shortage. In a broader sense, the same money can be spent differently and directly to alleviate malaria and water shortage even more effectively. Only by considering the broader question we can decide how much effort should be expended on development vis-a-vis GHG emission abatement.
The main problem lies not with the principles advocated by such approaches per se, but rather the structural barriers that have inhibited local actions towards achieving higher energy efficiency levels. The main barrier is the difference in approaches—growth-based and development-oriented. Another key barrier is the political and institutional context within which the energy development agencies operate. As communities do not function in isolation from the wider spheres of power and decision-making, much of what can be achieved through local actions can only be sustained, institutionalized and scaled up by removing the obstacles at the local, regional, national or international levels. One should also recognize and act upon the need for strategic alliances and partnerships among various actors, namely, central and local governments, NGOs and civil society organizations, local communities and households and the private sector. It means addressing energy development, environment, poverty, social justice, equity and gender issues as parts of the same political process of development. It involves bridging the gap between carefree selfishness in degrading the environment and changing [Page 318]attitudes—reduce–recycle–reuse (R–R–R). This strategy will have positive impacts not only on the quality of life but also on the resources and the environment.
The climate negotiations will succeed only if developing countries are driven by development priorities, and if there are countries or groups of countries among them willing to take a leadership role to push the process forward. In the absence of leadership, even well-intentioned players remain uncoordinated, which increases the transaction costs. Hence, the issue of climate change should be approached at multiple levels through local, national and international development projects as well as through multilateral efforts to establish cooperation mechanisms within an equitable and efficient sustainable development regime.
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About the Authors[Page 341]
B. Sudhakara Reddy is a professor at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India. He is a Member of the Editorial Committee on Energy Efficiency, Switzerland. He has also served as Expert, Evaluation of projects on Renewable Energy–FP7 Programme, European Commission, 2007; Member, Expert Appraisal Committee for Thermal Power and Coal Mine projects; Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India; Member, Board of Management, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai; Member, Research Advisory Committee, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Hayama, Japan; Member, Working Group on Energy Efficiency and DSM for formulation of 11th Five Year Plan (2007–2012), Planning Commission, Government of India; Member, Network of Advisors, Linx Research, New York, NY 10022; and Executive Committee Member (2004–2006), Indian Society for Ecological Economics (INSEE).
Gaudenz B. Assenza is the lead author and project director of the research programme on ‘Energy and Climate Change’, 2001–2006 at Palacky University, Czech Republic. He is also the lead author and project director of the research project ‘Best Practices of Multilateral Institutions in Promoting Energy Efficiency’, 2001–2002, ext. 2002–2005, UN Foundation, USA and Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Norway. His publications include 5 Country Studies published by the United Nations: New York and Geneva, 2004–2020.
He is the Member of UN Experts Group, ‘Energy Efficiency Investment Project for Climate Change Mitigation’ (ECE-CIS-99-043), 2000–2003, UNECE, Geneva. He is also a lecturer, Central European Studies Program (CESP), at Palacky University, since 2003, teaching ‘The Politics of the Environment in Central and Eastern Europe’.
[Page 342]Dora Assenza is a senior lecturer of economics, Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic. She is also a faculty member, teaching Environmental Economics at Valdesta State University, Georgia, USA.
Franziska Hasselmann is a post-doc scientist at the Geography Unit, University of Fribourg, Switzerland and a visiting scientist at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, Switzerland.