Energy Strategies

An energy strategy is a long-term and adaptive framework for guiding decisions about energy development and delivery. It is a deliberative process that encourages involvement from all key stakeholders and gives each a legitimate role in addressing the tradeoffs that are key to the decisions at hand. It is a way to organize information and dialogue about energy options and consequences.
Energy strategies which do not follow a structured approach run the risk of failure. Adoption of a formal energy policy is essential to ensure that the necessary resources are allocated on an ongoing basis, and that energy management is given the priority it deserves throughout the school.

There are several key elements of succesful energy strategies:

• Showing leadership in making energy efficiency a priority resource in energy policy. Part of the challenge of increasing energy efficiency is developing co-operation among the many actors that are involved by addressing conflicts and building on synergies. A crucial step is leadership from high-level actors, including governments or planning agencies with wide impact. Jurisdictions that have undertaken successful energy efficiency strategies often have demonstrated long-term commitment by recognizing the many benefits of energy efficiency in broad-ranging energy planning and policy documents.

• Setting legally binding targets for energy savings (e.g., kWh or GJ saved each year). Setting annual targets for large natural gas and electric utilities is an underlying component of innovative programs in several regions. By setting targets, with strong financial disincentives for failing to meet the energy savings, regions are better able to track and measure success and adjust plans as needed. A few regions are now experimenting with improving the cost-effectiveness of meeting energy efficiency targets by using tradable certificates. These certificates allow utilities additional flexibility in meeting the targets and can also expand the market for delivering energy efficiency programs to non-utility providers.

• Providing financial and institutional structures to deliver energy efficiency. It often takes several years after the start-up of energy efficiency programs before significant energy savings are achieved. Additional time is required to ensure that future energy efficiency opportunities are identified and achieved. The most effective strategies have provided for,

i) long-term funding,

ii) institutional structure to deliver the energy savings, and

iii) specified input processes and review cycles for future updates to building codes, appliance standards, utility efficiency programs and other strategies.

• Developing comprehensive programs. To counter the different market and non-market barriers experienced by the many groups that influence energy efficiency decisions, jurisdictions have established programs that deliver a wide variety of services to each sector. The coverage includes different types of policy institutions and incentives (financial incentives for customers, suppliers and developers; pro-active delivery to customers; training for operators and retailers), integration of natural gas and electricity programs, and funding research and development activities. The type of program(s) used in each situation is matched to the specific barrier to be addressed.

• Establishing measurement and verification (M&V) protocols. On a regular basis, the most successful strategies provide all players with information on guidelines for measuring

PEA Project

One of the main deliverables of the PEA project are the energy strategies worked out for every partner region. Those strategies with a focus on sustainable energy consumption and energy production from renewable sources will help the regions to improve their overall development options – regional development mainly depends on the capacity of innovation and on the readiness to improve and change a given situation. This will be reached by raising the awareness for energy problems, by working on new financial and management models and by concrete implementation (preparation) measures.

The aim is to bundle all energy related activities and stakeholders of a region in order to find efficient ways for regional development in the context of energy efficiency and renewable energy. The Energy Strategies are intended to be a good starting point to initiate further regional development in a structured way and with a holistic approach. In the context of the PEA-project a strong profile on energy issues is to be seen as leading principle for regional development.

List of PEA energy strategies

Voru County, Estonia

Mustvee Municipality, Estonia

Lathi Region, Finland

Ylivieska Subregion, Finland

RCG Prignitz, Germany

Kraslava Municipality, Latvia

Commune of Niepolomice, Poland

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