World Energy Council
Senior energy industry executives have urged governments to establish coherent and joined-up policies to help achieve sustainable energy systems, according to a World Energy Council (WEC) report.
The WEC’s 2012 World Energy Trilemma report “Time to get real — the case for sustainable energy policy” states policymakers must develop a clear vision that encompasses a mix of energy sources and technologies. They need to set a clear agenda in three key interconnected policy areas by:
· Designing coherent and long-term energy policies;
· Enabling market conditions that attract long-term investments; and
· Encouraging initiatives that foster research and development (R&D) in all areas of energy technology.
Industry leaders see these policies as crucial to providing secure, affordable and environmentally sensitive energy for the world’s 7 billon people.
“Our energy systems are not sustainable,” said Pierre Gadonneix, WEC chairman. “All countries are experiencing growing difficulties in securing their energy supply as they engage in a cleaner growth pattern to deliver social equity, especially during difficult economic times. Our report makes clear recommendations to help policymakers engage in a much needed dialogue with business to deliver sustainable energy systems, which can support renewed governance on global issues such as climate, safety of energies and trade. We have the means at our disposal. The time is now right for a sustainable energy master plan.”
According to the study, governments must establish coherent, long-term policies driven by their intended goals rather than promote specific types of energy or technology. Policies must be separate from short-term politics.
Energy policies must be connected nationally and regionally. National energy policies must link up with national industrial, financial, environmental, transport and agricultural goals.
Governments must think regionally. Sharing resources across borders enables countries to: increase regional energy security; reduce power costs; and attract investments by creating greater market scale, optimizing natural resources and developing common infrastructure.
The report also suggests that to encourage innovation and R&D, policymakers must let the market decide winning technologies. Intellectual property rights must be strongly enforced to incentivize the private sector to invest in cleaner, more energy-efficient technologies.
To boost investor confidence, governments should increase support for research, development and demonstration of new technologies. They should establish a strong research-oriented environment that promotes national and international collaborative research and that funds large-scale demonstration projects to support companies’ efforts to bring technologies to market.