Energy Efficiency & Climate Change: Huge Untapped Potential

Motivations, scope, and objectives of the special issue

The crisis the world is going through these last years is patent. It includes economic, social, environmental, ecological, and even health aspects. In this setting, climate change poses a real threat to both human and ecosystem sustainability. Decarbonization initiatives in different sectors of the economy are on a clear upward trajectory around the world. However, they must accelerate in both scale and pace to meet the climate and sustainability goals of the Paris Agreement. Within this context, energy efficiency and renewable energy are the two most commonly emphasized pretenders to decarbonize the power sector. Accordingly, this special issue explores the current energy efficiency challenges and its inherent potential in meeting sustainability and well-being goals.

The scope of this special issue is the economic and technical challenges of energy efficiency and the impact of its development on energy transition, economic and environmental resilience.

However, three specific research questions are prominent. First, what are the current challenges and promises of energy efficiency development? Second, how sustainable is energy efficiency, and what are the key drivers of its sustainability? Third, what is the ultimate implication of energy efficiency development on climate goals, and what policy framework can assist the development of energy efficiency both in developed and developing countries.

Besides exploring the energy efficiency paradigm - through the lens of energy economics and efficiency paradox theories - the special issue will contain state-of-art econometric advances to explore and document the economic and financial implications of energy efficiency technologies development in different sectors (building, transportation, and industrial), including economic and intangible benefits (economic diversification, well-being, sustainability, inclusiveness, job creations, etc.)

Indicative topics are (but are not limited to):

The special issue expects to cover a broad range of topics, including innovative concepts and studies to answer the following questions (but are not limited to):

• What is the role of energy efficiency in shaping energy transition, sustainable development goals, and climate change mitigations?

• Who should be responsible for practices needed to reform and decarbonize our energy system, and How effective are these practices?

• What are the current challenges and solutions of energy efficiency in developing countries?

• Why deploy large-scale energy efficiency?

• How to effectively develop a cost-effective energy efficiency program?

• What are the current practices and financing mechanisms that make energy efficiency desirable?

• What are the barriers impeding energy efficiency development in different sectors: building, transport, industrial, etc.?

• What is the role of behavioral changes in accelerating energy efficiency uptake?

• What are the dynamic mechanisms put in place for developing countries to spur energy efficiency development and manage their day-to-day operational challenges?

• What energy efficiency policies do local governments adopt, and what is the impact of such policies?

• How can a comprehensive energy efficiency policy framework be developed to guide the effective implementation?


  • Fateh BELAID

    Research fellow, King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center Before joining KAPSARC, he was a full Professor of Economics at Lille Catholic University, Director of the Smart & Sustainable Cities research unit, with appointments in Ecole des Ponts & Chaussées ParisTech, and Ecole Nationale des Sciences Géographiques.


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