An Integrated Approach to Support Energy Policy Formulation and Evaluation
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With the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol (UN, 1997) in 1997 and the recent increase in energy prices, national leaders of industrialized countries have started investigating options for reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions within national borders (UNFCCC, 2008). After ten years debating on whether the global and national economies would have been negatively impacted by the implementation of such measures, rising global concerns on climate change urge policy makers to find ways to reduce the carbon intensity of the global economy (IPCC, 2007). Various proposals for reducing energy consumption and supply cleaner fuels have been examined during the years. Some countries opposed the adoption of drastic measures -such as the US, which has not yet ratified the Kyoto protocol, while others have taken the lead to support the diffusion of energy efficient technology and promote the production of cleaner energy, such as Denmark and Germany. As a matter of fact, different governments find themselves in different energy contexts that direct them towards taking dissimilar positions on energy issues. Evidently, the extent to which society, economy and environment shape policies and react to their implementation change from country to country. The present study investigates whether contextualizing energy issues is relevant to provide support to energy policy formulation and evaluation aimed at finding sustainable longer-term solutions to today’s and upcoming energy and environmental issues. Instead of applying the most widely accepted tools used to support policy formulation and evaluation, this research proposes the utilization of a holistic framework that incorporates social, economic and environmental factors as well as their relations to the energy sector, to better contextualize global, regional and national energy issues. This framework, which accounts for feedback loops, delays and non-linearity, is applied to case studies centered on the US to investigate the longer term performance of selected energy policies under a variety of scenarios. Results of the research work carried out with five case studies, focused on the simulation of various energy and climate policy options, indicate the likely emergence of various unexpected side effects and elements of policy resistance over the medium and longer term, due to the interrelations existing between energy and society, economy and environment. Furthermore, side effects or unintended consequences may arise both within the energy sector and in the other spheres of the model; nevertheless, these behavioral changes influence all society, economy and environment spheres.
Paper I: Energy for Sustainable Development 13(2), Bassi, A. M.; Baer, A. E., Quantifying Cross-Sectoral Impacts of Investments in Climate Change Mitigation in Ecuador, pp. 116-123. Copyright 2009 International Energy Initiative. Published by Elsevier Inc. Full text not available in BORA due to publisher restrictions. The published version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.esd.2009.05.003Paper II: Energy Economics 2010 32(1), Bassi, A. M.; Schoenberg, W.; Powers, R., An integrated approach to energy prospects for North America and the rest of the world, pp. 30-42. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. Full text not available in BORA due to publisher restrictions. The published version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eneco.2009.04.005Paper III: Technological Forecasting and Social Change 77(3), Bassi, A. M.; Shilling, J. D., Informing the US Energy Policy Debate with Threshold 21, pp. 396-410. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. Full text not available in BORA due to publisher restrictions. The published article is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2009.10.007Paper IV: Bassi, A. M.; Drake, A.; Tennyson, E. L.; Herren, H. R., 2009, Evaluating the Creation of a Parallel Non-Oil Transportation System in an Oil Constrained Future. Full text not available in BORA.Paper V: Energy Policy 37(8), Bassi, A. M.; Yudken, J. S.; Ruth, M., Climate policy impacts on the competitiveness of energy-intensive manufacturing sectors, pp. 3052–3060. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. Full text not available in BORA due to publisher restrictions. The published version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2009.03.055