A new global energy landscape is emerging

So says the IEA World Energy Outlook 2012 in which they present a new scenario on what would happen if the profitable energy efficiency potential was realised worldwide. They explain further how it would come about: “If new policy initiatives are broadened and implemented in a concerted effort to improve global energy efficiency, this could be a game-changer.” How and the economic consequences are elaborated in their chapter 10 where it is said that it would require “…. to re-deploy supply-side capital investments into demand-side efficiency improvement investments, which has the effect of changing energy supply businesses or financiers into energy service (supply and
demand) businesses and financiers.

This sort of refocusing is part of the IEA DSM-Programme experience that is available and contains examples from all corners of the world.

The IEA WEO suggests six steps for a change:

  • VisibilityThe energy performance of each energy end-use and service needs to be made visible to the market. The IEA DSM-Programme has examined the role of municipalities in which several models have been studied.
  • Priority - The profile and importance of energy efficiency needs to be raised. The WEO mentions the role of utilities and possible energy efficiency obligation, which has been studied by the DSM-Programme both in with examples of “White Certificates” in Europe and worldwide with Energy Efficiency Obligations presented in a recent publication.
  • AffordabilityCreate and support business models, financing vehicles and incentives to ensure investors in energy efficiency reap an appropriate share of the rewards. There is a longstanding and developing work on Competitive Energy Services (Energy Contracting, ESCo Services) in the IEA DSM-Programme.
  • Normal - Energy efficiency needs to be normalised if it is to endure. Resulting benefits from learning and economies of scale help make the most energy-efficient option the normal solution. Indeed so and that is why we have engaged in improving the technology with co-operative procurement and improving planning for resources and deployment to the market-place.
  • RealMonitoring, verification and enforcement activities are needed to verify claimed energy efficiency. The DSM Programme has developed Standardisation of Energy Savings Calculations and Guide Books for the purpose.
  • Realisable - Achieving the supply and widespread adoption of energy efficient goods and services depends on an adequate body of skilled practitioners in government and industry. And they also need skills in finding out how human behaviour works to adopt and adapt new
    methods, which is one of the new areas studied in the IEA DSM-Programme.

According to WEO: The Efficient World Scenario results in a more efficient allocation of resources, boosting cumulative economic output through 2035 by $18 trillion. Additional investment of $11.8 trillion in more efficient end-use technologies is needed, but is more than offset by a $17.5 trillion reduction in fuel expenditures and $5.9 trillion lower supply-side investment. Those investments pay back well before the end of the lifetime of the energy capital stock and result in huge gains for the economy, energy security and the environment.

We wholeheartedly endorse the IEA WEO 2012 projections and suggestions to make full use of the enormous energy efficiency potentials and in particular to ensure that they are exploited in systematic manner by use of Demand Side Management, DSM. We will be happy to help!

Rob Kool,
Chairman of the IEA DSM-Programme (www.ieadsm.org)