To be successful in an EE approach to a sustainable energy future we need to learn from past experiences.
The success and effective period of energy efficiency programmes depend on the circumstances of each programme. However, there are lessons from past energy efficiency programmes which can serve as general guidelines.
Focus on people. One of the main lessons to learn is the need to focus on people. Individuals and local organizations that help support a programme during its lifetime and their motivation and commitment to programme affected by direct and indirect benefits need to be addressed. As a diverse group of stakeholders (government officials, project managers, non-profit organizations, community groups, project participants and international policy makers) are involved in EE programmes, looking at the perspectives of various actors should help improve the credibility of the programme as well as facilitate the review of EE programmes.
Collaborate. From a governmental perspective, programmes addressing the business sector are found to be most effective if taking place in form of collaborations, thereby, supporting investments in financial infrastructure. Some successful models have included financial support to help businesses to switch to more efficient systems. Energy service companies, leasing programmes, guarantee funds and insurance mechanisms are some such models which can play a critical role in the phase of transformation.
Focus on areas and mechanisms of high effectiveness. Governmental programmes need to analyze sectors carefully to find out where the sources of high effectiveness for EE measures lie. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has attracted considerable private sector interest. The mechanism has the potential to become a powerful instrument for foreign direct investment and technology transfer. Private sector involvement in the CDM is successful as it is project based and inherent risks are reduced by assured credits, minimum overheads, flexibility, transparency and simplicity, an appeal mechanism and stability.
Evaluate options and develop institutional and technical capabilities. At the country level, critical steps for successful government-driven programmes are (a) to identify and evaluate various efficient options; (b) to develop specific investment projects and related institutional designs for selected policy options; and (c) to strengthen the institutional and technical capabilities. For the EE programme to become successful the following conditions have to be met: (a) significant energy savings; (b) be cost effective; (c) be comprehensive; (d) achieve all cost-effective savings available in each customer interaction; (e) be preferably large scale; (f) create EE capability as well as capture present savings; (g) be monitored and evaluated; (h) provide continuous improvement and (i) pay particular attention to prevent lost opportunities.
Include non-price factors. Often consumers do not base their investment decisions solely on price. Many considerations play a role in the consumer's decision making, such as education, social status, convenience, feeling of competence and interest in new technologies as well as health and safety concerns. To be successful, EE programmes need to include other non-price factors such as awareness about environmental issues, energy consumption and on how to control and reduce energy waste.
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Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.