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Energy Efficiency - Call for Papers: International policy responses to the energy crisis triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine: a global comparison of best practices

Tetiana Kurbatova (Sumy State University)

Regina Betz (Zurich University of Applied Sciences)

Introduction/problem statement
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has triggered a major energy crisis as it has become highly uncertain how much gas and oil will be delivered to European countries in the short term and the exact impact of the invasion and sanctions in the medium and long term. These developments have repercussions not only on the European energy market but globally.

On the day of the invasion oil prices rose from USD 80/bbl to USD 105/bbl as Russia is the world’s largest exporter of oil to global markets (IEA 2022).  Gas prices had quadrupled compared to levels in mid-2021 by May 2022, in particular because gas storage levels were unusually low before the invasion (around 22% below the previous year’s level, IEA 2022).  

High and volatile energy prices impose a burden on households and businesses dependent on these fossil fuels. In the case of households the burden is especially high for those on low incomes or with other vulnerabilities. Supply shortfalls pose a systemic risk for many economies threatening economic and social welfare. What is more, reducing fossil fuel consumption or substituting away from fossil fuels takes time and investment. While it may be possible for a share of the population and economy to become independent from fossil fuels in the near term, a large part will still be dependent on these energy sources for electricity, heating and mobility in the medium term.

In order to address these challenges and lighten the burden on households and businesses (not least to prevent potential political unrest) governments in the EU and around the world have responded with a range of measures.  While there are similar measures undertaken to combat the crisis like reducing energy taxes or the VAT, subsidising households’ energy bills or government campaigns to the general public to save energy, there have also been unique measures by individual countries, which can be explained by the scale of their dependency on Russian gas and oil, economic structure or the political situation in the country. 

Our understanding of some of the more innovative measures is limited today. In addition, there is not yet much academic literature which collects and compares the different policy responses. This is particularly true for measures related to energy savings and energy efficiency, although these are precisely those measures that would increase resilience in the long run and have the dual benefit of reducing cost burdens and contributing to climate protection. 

Facing the dual challenges of a global energy (price) crisis and a climate emergency, it is critically important to improve our understanding of both the vulnerability of countries due to their energy dependency on fossil fuels in general and in particular those provided by Russia, as well as the adequacy of short and long-term reactions at the national, regional and global level.  

Aims and Purpose
The aim of this Special Issue is to collect recent information on the exposure of countries and regions to and the policy measures taken to combat the energy crisis triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A particular focus lies on measures that can be considered good practice, not limited to but including those aimed at reducing fossil energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency, as these types of measures have to date been underexposed both in the political response to the crisis and the academic coverage, although they have the potential to sustainably address both the energy and climate crises in the long term. 

The findings communicated by the papers that will comprise the Special Issue will provide critical knowledge and improved understanding of the strategies developed by different countries and provide input and advice to experts, policy makers and stakeholders in designing the response to both the energy and climate crises in the years to come.                                               

Structure of the Special Issue

The Special Issue will be comprised of original research manuscripts of max. 12000 words and short communications as a country case-study of max. 4000 words. 

In addition, we also invite contributions in the form of country annexes containing statistical data showing the most significant changes in the country’s energy profile triggered by the current energy crisis and the main policy response measures. If you are interested to provide an Annex please contact Tetiana Kurbatova ( who will provide you with a template for the Annex. Based upon the country annexes selected for publication, the guest editors will co-author a full-length article with the authors of these accepted annexes where the changes in energy profiles and policy responses are compared across countries.

Accepting submissions now!