Assessment of Energy Policy and Practices
Why an assessment is needed
There is an urgent need to explore, understand, and communicate the components of successful energy policy. At the same time, as WEC's recent energy scenarios work concluded, it is important to remember there is no one ideal policy or suite of policies.
Energy policy is strongly shaped and influenced by particular national or even regional situations. Thus, lessons from a country's energy policy and practices should prove less useful, by themselves, in formulating policy for other countries, and indeed the entire globe. But, not attempting to learn from the practice of others and develop more effective energy policy, bearing in mind the scale and speed of the needed energy transitions, is irresponsible. This line of thinking is consistent with the call in
There is an urgent need to explore, understand, and communicate the components of successful energy policy.
The list of critical questions requiring answers is daunting. How should policy-makers best balance their responses to today's energy challenges with those of tomorrow's? How can the private, public, and citizen sectors work together more effectively to respond to these challenges-and keep driving forward the necessary changes? And what are the best working models of public policy, regulation, market mechanisms, business strategies, and financial instruments needed to create energy supply and demand patterns that meet the goals of eliminating energy poverty, ensuring energy security, and achieving energy sustainability?
Energy businesses are increasingly global in nature, requiring that investment decisions and technology choices be made with a global perspective, but energy policies are predominantly made at the national level. Thus, a gap has to be bridged at a time when significant investments need to be made to ensure security of supply and to meet global environmental challenges. This Assessment can help bridge this gap by contributing to more consistent and coherent energy policies across nations, and ensuring that energy businesses receive timely, clear, and stable policy signals from governments to invest in new technologies, infrastructure, and products. Governments and their constituents need assurances from business and financial markets that security and sustainability challenges can be realistically met, while maintaining healthy regional and global economies.
WEC believes that a new approach to the assessment of national energy policy and practices, built around an appropriately designed index, provides a valuable catalyst for finding answers to such questions and solutions to emerging energy transitions.