Energy Efficiency Finance and Sustainable Development Goals

Energy efficiency improvements are an immediate and effective option for transforming energy systems. Improvement in energy efficiency means cutting out waste and bring down the per-unit cost of lighting, heating, refrigeration, and other services. It can also help reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Improving energy efficiency through new investments and retrofits requires focused and aggressive policies that support green innovation through more stringent energy efficiency regulations, fiscal incentives for new technologies, investment incentives for the private sector, and pricing GHG emissions.

The United Nations has defined 5 Targets and 6 Indicators for the Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7). Targets specify the goals, and Indicators represent the metrics by which the world aims to track whether these Targets are achieved. Among which 7.3 is: “doubling the improvement in energy efficiency” by 2030.

Since 2015, global improvements in energy intensity, a key measure of the economy’s energy efficiency, have been declining. This trend suggests that there is an urgent need for action to boost energy efficiency. The COVID-19 crisis increased this uncertainty further. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the global economic recessions, the ongoing investment in energy efficiency dropped drastically, which endangered the achievement of SDG 7.3. The International Energy Agency (IEA) report finds that efficiency investments declined 9% in 2020 because of COVID-19 and the recession. The IEA estimates that the world will require the cumulative global investment of USD 24.5 trillion to tap into all available cost-effective energy efficiency potential through 2040. Nevertheless, the global market yet fails to deliver this full potential of energy efficiency. This means in the wake of COVID-19, the importance of finance and investments for energy efficiency improvements to achieve climate-related goals is highlighted.

This article collection seeks theoretical, empirical, case studies, and policy-oriented papers that deal with innovative and market-based solutions for unlocking energy efficiency finance and investments. Successful manuscripts will consist of papers developed based on a sound theoretical framework and make a significant contribution to the literature. The article collection will collectively provide policy recommendations for designing optimal energy efficiency financing schemes providing lessons and experiences for end-users and market players on access to energy efficiency finance.

Papers may deal with, but not limited, to the following:

- Energy efficiency finance and Sustainable Development Goals

- Obstacles for achieving the energy efficiency target set by the UN and solutions.

- Role of green finance and investment in unlocking energy efficiency investments

- Analyzing energy efficiency financing programs in major jurisdictions

- Obstacles for energy efficiency financing programs and solutions

- Innovative and market-based instruments and energy efficiency

- Energy efficiency policy design and effectiveness evaluation

- Role of governments in unlocking the private investments in energy efficiency.

- Role of fiscal policy for boosting the energy efficiency improvements.

- Public supports for energy efficiency finance during the pandemic

Manuscript Submission Information

Submissions will undergo the same strict double-blind peer-review process that is generally applied for the journal. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted).

To submit a manuscript, please register and submit your paper online here. When making your submission, please choose the Special Issue entitled “Energy Efficiency Finance and SDGs”. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Author Guidelines page. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere. The deadline for submissions is Nov 30, 2021


  • Dr. Farhad Taghizadeh-Hesary

    Associate Professor

    Tokai University, Japan


Articles (2 in this collection)