Assessment of Energy Policy and Practices
The micro analysis consists of a detailed review of country energy policy instruments aimed at identifying those which contribute most to the effectiveness of a country's energy policy and practices. The goal is to be able to inform the debate over whether certain types of policies allow countries to achieve relatively high scores in the index, and thus hasten achievement of the 3 A's. Japan's Top Runner Programme is an example of such a policy (see box).
Top Runner Programme in Japan
One of the successful energy policies implemented in Japan is the Top Runner Programme. The Top Runner Programme was introduced to save energy in the commercial, residential and transport sectors, where the energy consumption has risen continuously even after two oil crises.
This Programme is a maximum standard value system. Under this system, the targets are set based on the value of the most energy-efficient products on the market and require gradual improvement in energy efficiency. The Programme places the requirement on manufacturers to meet the targets, and includes the display of an Energy Saving label.
The implementation of this policy has exceeded expectations as demonstrated in Table 1 on page 9.
Currently, there are 21 products that have specified targets established through the Top Runner Programme.
For further detail, please see the website, http://www.eccj.or.jp/top_runner/img/32.pdf.
The analysis of policy instruments is also important to highlight and understand the 'trade-offs' between the different objectives and elements of energy policy. In fact, effective energy policies will have to simultaneously reconcile economic, social, environmental, and institutional objectives, as well as deal with regional considerations. These various dimensions, however, might not always be compatible. For example, addressing climate change may have cost implications which can lead to higher energy prices, with consequences on economic growth and social cohesion. To investigate this critical issue, those policy instruments that allow for an examination of the trade-offs between and among the different components of the macro assessment (EPPI) must be considered.
Some results of Japan's Top Runner Programme
In this context, the development, implementation, and impact of a variety of energy policy instruments are important, for example:
regulation and standards;
public information and awareness; and
For each country, the macro assessment and micro analysis may then be integrated. However, the type, quality, and implementation of such policy instruments are likely to differ between countries. For this reason, a detailed analysis of the various policies and the lessons learned from it are more likely to be conducted among similar countries (within a Cluster) where a more robust comparison can be made between countries that have similar levels of economic development and indigenous energy resources.
Differing economic development and resources make comparing countries difficult, in part, because countries require different efforts to reach their specific 3 A's objectives in relation to their current status and needs. However, many countries are broadly similar and such countries within a cluster can be reasonably compared. After all the country assessments have been completed, there is an opportunity for realistic country comparisons within clusters. Five broad preliminary groups of countries serve to facilitate this process (Figure 2).
The assessment of countries in a cluster is performed by:
conducting the macro assessment (and computing the EPPI) for each country within a cluster;
identifying, using the micro analysis, those policy instruments which relate to relevant performance in one or more building blocks.
Then, countries may be ranked or grouped in performance bands, either for overall performance or for selected Supports. High-scoring countries, and especially policy instruments that support their success, can then be highlighted.
Examples of possible Country Clusters
1 - Lower income - energy importers
2 - Lower income - energy exporters
3 - Emerging (fast growth) moving toward energy importers
4 - Higher income - energy exporters
5 - Higher income - energy importers