Assessment of Energy Policy and Practices
Scope of Work
Many examples of national assessments focus on the relative effectiveness, attractiveness, or competitiveness of a nation's policy and practices in specific areas. For successful assessments, a number of requirements are paramount:
A compelling and thoughtful structure to the analysis and assessment.
A recognition that factors indirectly shaping performance (foundational or enabling factors), are as important to outcomes as those factors that directly shape performance.
Adequate identification and collection of new primary and available secondary data.
Sufficient quality assurance of the analysis and assessment.
Transparency and wide communication of results, and engagement with all those interested in the Assessment.
In WEC's Assessment, each country's performance is analysed according to four areas, or Supports: institutions, economy, social capacity and equity, and environment.
The 3 A’s Defined
Accessibility means that a minimum level of commercial energy services (in the form of electricity, stationary uses, and transport) is available at prices both affordable (low enough to meet the needs of the poor) and sustainable (prices reflect the full marginal costs of energy production, transmission, and distribution to support the financial ability of suppliers to maintain and develop these energy services). Getting access to the 2 billion people in the world without reliable commercial energy of any kind is key.
Availability relates to the long-term continuity of supply as well as the short-term quality of service. Energy shortages disrupt economic development, so a well-diversified portfolio of domestic or imported (or regionally) traded fuels and energy services is required. Keeping all energy options open is the key.
Acceptability addresses public attitudes and the environment, covering many issues: deforestation, land degradation or soil acidification at the regional level; indoor or local pollution (such as that from the burning of traditional biomass fuels, or because of poor quality coal briquettes or charcoal production); greenhouse gas emissions and climate change on a global scale; nuclear security, safety, waste management, and proliferation; and the possible negative impact of large dams or large-scale modern biomass development. Clean technologies and their transfer to developing countries are the key.
Data collection is facilitated by WEC member committees, through alliances with international institutions, such as the International Energy Agency and national energy institutes.
Quality assurance will be strengthened by a Committee of Experts and WEC member committees working with the study teams.
Overall, the aim is to produce a fully transparent assessment and ensure widespread engagement with all relevant stakeholders, including the public.
This Assessment process has two principal components:
A periodic assessment of national policy, regulations, and standards and their effectiveness in achieving the 3 A's.
An analysis of the vulnerability of an energy system, in particular to human resource availability, manufacturing bottlenecks, water needs, and logistics capability.
The assessment of national policies focuses predominantly, but not exclusively, on the present and interprets historical developments. The vulnerability analysis is more anticipatory in nature and aims to clarify existing and emerging vulnerabilities for decision-makers. This latter work will be expanded upon in a subsequent white paper.