Energy Policy Scenarios to 2050
6.2. Regional Observations
The assessments in Sections 4 and 5 conducted by the regions were, by design, qualitative in nature. Any relative positioning or absolute quantification toward the achievement of the 3 A goals is tenuous at best. The result is that regional policy recommendations tend to have only regional benefit without much consideration of the potential for consequences (positive or negative) for other regions.
The five regions are at different stages of economic and social development and have different levels of achievement of the 3 A goals. Not surprisingly, their policy imperatives are different. One of the major learning points from this work is that it cannot be expected that dissimilar regions will share similar policy objectives. Africa is concerned about Accessibility while Europe has moved beyond and is now concerned more with Acceptability. International treaties and protocols must allow for these differences.
It is immediately clear that cooperation and integration has a significant impact on the achievement of the goals. This is most marked for the developing regions (Africa, Asia and Latin America) where the scenarios with less cooperation and integration perform much worse than those with more cooperation and integration. This is not a surprising result, but it does emphasise the importance of knowledge transfer and expertise and the integration of resources in achieving the 3 A's. Legislation, agreements, and treaties will not be sufficient. The developed nations will have to partner with the developing nations on the basis of priorities set by the regions.
Government engagement has a much smaller impact, though generally government engagement has a positive influence on achieving of the goals. Again the impact is more pronounced in the developing regions, and this is most probably due to the lack of private sector capacity to drive these goals without government support and risk sharing. The oil security of China and India will be increasingly dependent on a stable and sustainable international oil market, an incentive for engagement of those governments.
While there may be subtleties and nuances in individual drivers and applications from region to region, there are a number of common themes in possible policy options. These can be grouped as follows:
Appropriate Economic Climates.
Ensure appropriate economic climates to facilitate investment and ensure sustainable infrastructure development. The host countries need to provide fiscal, legal and commercial frameworks that are clearly defined and robust and which limit the risk to the investors. Donor countries and Investors on the other hand need to be realistic in stating their pre-conditions for investment and rational in their risk/return expectations.
Market Integration and Dialogue.
Integrate markets at both a regional and inter-regional level and seek global dialogue on security of supply and demand. Integration will permit gains from economies of scale and from access to a greater diversity of sources and consumers (e.g., sharing production margins and aggregating energy demand).
Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Rights.
Ensure an agreed upon approach to technology transfer that respects the value of intellectual property and the need to grow local competencies while allowing all nations to better develop and deploy technologies (new and existing) appropriate to their needs in terms of the 3 A priorities.
Energy Efficiency Gains.
Promote and drive energy efficiency in all aspects of the value chain utilizing appropriate mechanisms - education, financial incentives, standards and regulation. In the poorer nations Accessibility and Affordability considerations will drive the desire to make the best use of every possible resource while in the wealthier nations Acceptability considerations will underpin the energy efficiency drive. Global achievement of the Accessibility goal will make a significant contribution to efficiency (and Acceptability) since non-commercial forms of energy are frequently far less efficient than commercial forms (e.g., boiling water over an open fire vs. in an electric kettle).
New Infrastructure Investments.
Ensure the development of infrastructure that will support the growth in energy demand that is anticipated in all four scenarios. For this development to be timely and appropriate it will be necessary for governments to clearly articulate their long-term policy objectives. This will permit the development of integrated plans and the creation of appropriate mechanisms to achieve these goals (national and regional Development Funds, Public Private Partnerships, Private Equity Investments etc.). Furthermore, both the public and private sectors will be able to build capability (both competency and capacity) against the backdrop of clear rollout plans.
Raise the profile/importance of transportation in achieving realistic efficiencies in energy consumption. This will be achieved through changes in urban planning and urbanisation patterns with consequent changes in transport infrastructure planning. Technology development and especially energy efficiency measures in the transport sector will also be important contributors to the Acceptability goal.