Influence of Actors and Factors

Technology choice analysis is facilitated by a state diagram depicting the influence of various factors and the corresponding actors. Figure 4.5 describes the Actor—Factor Influence Linkage state. Different types of actors, level of influence (low or high), and so on, are depicted. Household budget directly influences the fuel choice, whereas availability and price influence it indirectly. Policy makers have a great influence directly as well as indirectly. Actually the nature of influence can be graded, as low, medium or high. Here we take a descriptive approach.

Table 4.1 Functions of the Actors in Energy Efficiency

Actors

Lev el

Functions

Governments

Macro

• Establish legal and institutional frameworks;

• Integrate EE in decision making processes;

• Support administrative efforts to enhance EE;

• Provide transparent evaluations to learn and to guide.

Energy supply agencies (Utilities)

Macro

• Improve energy services—supply, transmission and distribution;

• Propagate EE technologies;

• Change consumption patterns.

Multilateral institutions

Macro

• Develop supporting instruments for monitoring and evaluation;

• Support mutual interest by adapting routines and instruments;

• Serve as a forum to disseminate results;

• Act as a clearing house to establish collaborative actions.

EE agencies

Meso

• Collect and propagate information about activities, experiences, programmes and projects;

• Develop and implement EE programmes.

Business and industry enterprises

Meso

• Disseminate the results achieved;

• Appeal to members to apply EE measures;

• Negotiate with partners involved in terms of achieving EE targets.

Equipment manufacturers

Meso

• Provide a whole range of devices—mechanical and electrical equipment—to the consumers;

• Cooperate on developing and later promoting EE technologies;

• Convince consumers to consider life cycle costs.

Financial institutions

Meta

• Help to finance EE programmes;

Meso

• Cooperate with other agencies to implement common projects;

• Implement programmes and projects actively.

Non-governmental organizations

Micro

• Publicize best practice;

• Network to make use of the latest experiences in research, both in technology and applications.

Consumers

Micro

• Collect appropriate information;

• Choice of technology.

Source: Reddy and Srinivas 2009.

Source: Reddy and Srinivas 2009.

Figure 4.5 Actor-Factor Influence State Diagram

Figure 4.5 Actor-Factor Influence State Diagram

On one side we have the actors, such as policy makers, supply agents, and so on, classified into macro, meso and micro actors. A list of factors influencing the technology choice through the actors is shown against them—namely, budget, price of energy, and so on. The connecting linkages between the actors and factors show the actors' role on the influencing factor. For example, subsidy and taxes have an influence through the policy makers. Similarly price and availability are the influencing factors through subsidy agents. Multiple linkages are possible since an agent may influence through several factors. Likewise, a factor may be influenced by many agents. In order to indicate the level of influence a weightage may be assigned to each linkage. Here three levels of influence are used: high, moderate and weak influence, indicated by red, blue and green lines. Such a state diagram can be useful to analyze the technology choice and the role of actors.

Now, the objective of the analysis being to find out the optimal way to enable technology choice by consumers, we can suggest modifications to the linkages and their weightages or levels of influence. These should be based on the observations of the data available as tabulated in the previous sections. As an example, the household budget deters the low-income household to use LPG for cooking. So the state transition diagram may be modified to enhance the role of financial institutions by providing loans at affordable rates to purchase LPG stoves. So this can be represented by a green to blue shift of weightage. Also new actors like entrepreneurs, NGOs, and so on, can be brought in to facilitate the transition. It is necessary to include extra slots for actors that may be influential in the future. Similarly, there may be factors that will become important in the future. Modification of state diagram is an effective way for effective fuel choice changes.

The analytical approach presented above has the advantage of mathematical treatment. This can be implemented by introducing mathematical variable and functions representing the linkages. Also, the functional form may be chosen according to the corresponding weightages. The methodology of implementation consists of a list of all linkages that are modified. There are several possible state transitions as discussed further.

Policy makers have a direct strong influence on the subsidy and a strong indirect influence on the price. Sometimes actors influence the factors whereas many times the factors are the main influence on actors. For example, external factors like the situation in oil importing countries influences public institutions/policy makers who in turn influence the availability. So Figure 4.5 also depicts the influence of external factors on the availability of resources. Most factors are inter-influential directly, which is shown by direct linkages. Thus, the representation can be used to analyze household fuel choice.

The classification of actors into micro, meso, macro and meta greatly facilitates the analysis of role of actors. For example, household and supply intermediateries that are micro level actors influence directly, though aspects are different. They may be treated and analyzed similarly. In the next section, actor—factor linkages are analyzed using the state-diagram approach. For convenience, the inter-linkages discussed in this section are not considered explicitly.

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

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.

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