CERI Seminar on Environnement and International Relations
18 October 2022
Sustainable Buildings
20 October 2022

Strategic energy and climate policy planning: Lessons learned from
European energy efficiency policies

By Marina Economidou, Marc Ringel, Michaela Valentova, Luca Castellazzi, Paolo
Zancanella, Paolo Zangheri, Tiago Serrenho, Daniele Paci, Paolo Bertoldi

Energy Policy 171 (2022) 113225. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113225

Strategic policy planning has gained increasing importance in international energy and
climate policy. This paper aims to contribute to the debate on stringent policy planning by
drawing lessons learned from two decades of strategy development in the field of European
energy efficiency policy. Since the inception of the first national energy efficiency action
plans under the Energy Services Directive (2006/32/EC), the European Commission and the
Member States have had a long experience in planning national strategies. This paper
analyses the lessons learned in setting up national energy efficiency strategies and traces the
progress made in 2007–2020. Our findings show that major improvements are attained in the
latest national energy and climate plans through the adoption of harmonised reporting
approaches, evidence-based target setting methods, establishment of better monitoring
systems and broader consideration of policy packages. Various areas with a significant
potential for further improvements are also identified, ranging from more coherent reporting
framework for policies and measures to the need of setting up systems that encourage the
adoption of targets in line with a country’s cost-effective energy efficiency potential.
Embedding energy efficiency in the larger climate policy framework, considering how it can
support pressing socioeconomic challenges, is also of pivotal importance.

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