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Conceptualizing the "Energy Efficiency First" principle: From foundations to implementation

: Mandel, Tim; Pató, Zsuzsanna; Broc, Jean-Sébastien

Volltext urn:nbn:de:0011-n-6425789 (193 KByte PDF)
MD5 Fingerprint: 60c59bef3fdc6473f05c247b2f344c21
Erstellt am: 29.10.2021

European Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy -ECEEE-, Stockholm:
eceee Summer Study 2021. Proceedings : eceee 2021 Summer Study on energy efficiency: a new reality?, 7-11 June 2021
Stockholm: ECEEE, 2021
ISBN: 978-91-983878-8-9 (Print)
ISBN: 978-91-983878-9-3 (Online)
European Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ECEEE Summer Study) <2021, Online>
Konferenzbeitrag, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer ISI ()
energy efficiency first; energy efficiency investments; energy supply and demand; investment decision-making; energy efficiency gap; market failure

Energy Efficiency First (E1st) has recently entered the EU policy agenda. Although its general rationale has been described in the Governance Regulation and in grey literature, a lack of shared understanding remains about the principle’s implications for investment and policymaking. This paper seeks to synthesise views on the principle, enhance its conceptual foundations and illustrate possible routes to implementation. First, it explores the historical and practical background of E1st by comparing the principle with similar regulatory concepts from outside the EU, including Least-Cost Planning, Integrated Resource Planning, and Demand-Side Management. This shows that the basic idea behind E1st, i.e. establishing a level playing field for demand- and supply-side resources, is not entirely new and that lessons can be learnt from related concepts. Second, it provides a theoretical foundation for E1st. By looking at the topic of the energy efficiency gap, as well as market and behavioural failures, the paper explains why, at present, demand- and supply-side resources are not on equal footing. It then explains what would need to change to establish an adequate balance. Third, based on this conceptual background, the article discusses possible avenues for putting E1st into practice with in the EU’s institutional framework. It does so by introducing two complementary institutional arrangements for E1st: (i) centralised decision-making (e.g. prescription of cost-benefit analysis in network planning) and (ii) decentralised market-based decision-making (e.g. ensuring market access for demand-side resources in power markets).