Industry calls for sustainable energy ‘master plan’

Senior energy industry executives have urged governments to establish coherent and joined-up policies to help achieve sustainable energy systems, according to a report published today by the World Energy Council (WEC).

The WEC’s 2012 World Energy Trilemma report, “Time to get real – the case for sustainable energy policy”, calls on policymakers to develop a clear vision that encompasses a mix of different energy sources and technologies.

The report highlights the need to set a clear agenda in three key interconnected policy areas; designing coherent and long-term energy policies, enabling market conditions that attract long-term investments and encouraging initiatives that foster research and development in all areas of energy technology.

Industry leaders see these policies as crucial to providing secure, affordable and environmentally sensitive energy for the world’s seven billon people, the report states.

Chairman of the WEC, Pierre Gadonneix, said: “Our energy systems are not sustainable. All countries are experiencing growing difficulties in securing their energy supply as they engage in a cleaner growth pattern to deliver social equity, especially during difficult economic times.

“Our report makes clear recommendations to help policymakers engage in a much needed dialogue with business to deliver sustainable energy systems, which can support renewed governance on global issues such as climate, safety of energies and trade. We have the means at our disposal – the time is now right for a sustainable energy master plan,” added Gadonneix.

According to the study, governments must establish coherent and long-term policies which are driven by their intended goals rather than to promote specific types of energy or technology. Policies must be separate from short-term politics, it adds.

It also stresses that energy policies must be connected both nationally and regionally, with national energy policies linking up with national industrial, financial, environmental, transport, and agricultural goals.

Highlighting the need to improve investor confidence, the report sets out how policymakers must create attractive market conditions to stimulate long-term energy investments.

“To reduce risks and boost private sector investment, policymakers should support the development of investment mechanisms such as green banks, a green bond market, and public-private partnerships,” it says.

In addition to its Trilemma report, the World Energy Council’s (WEC) global ranking of country energy sustainability performance has revealed that most of the 90 plus countries assessed are still far from achieving fully sustainable energy systems.

Leigh Stringer

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