IEA Identifies Best Practices in Energy Policies during 2006, Highlighting Energy Efficiency and Technology

(Paris) — 18 December 2006

Over the last year, high energy prices, continued demand growth, rising import-dependence and political tensions have increased concerns about adequate and affordable energy supplies, making energy security a policy priority in many countries. The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest publication focuses on these recent trends: Energy Policies of IEA Countries – 2006 Review. This new edition of the annual Compendium contains a broad analysis and an easily accessible overview of energy policy during the last 12 months across the twenty-six members of the IEA and beyond.

Energy security, together with continued concerns about climate change and the ongoing G8 work on energy efficiency and new technologies, have provided a strong focus for the work of the IEA and set key policy trends in IEA member and key non-member countries.

Energy Efficiency Best Practice
Responding to the 2005 G8 Gleneagles Plan of Action which mandated the IEA to analyse and make recommendations on best practices in energy efficiency worldwide, this edition contains – for the first time -- a separate chapter on energy efficiency. Based on information from IEA In-Depth Reviews carried out over the past three years, the Compendium identifies examples of successfully implemented policies in this important field of energy policy. The IEA urges continued policy development in energy efficiency and recommends specific measures, which G8 leaders again emphasised at their 2006 summit in Saint Petersburg.

Climate Change – One Year of Emissions Trading
On the background of rising CO2 emissions, particular emphasis is put on major instruments of climate change mitigation: The Compendium analyses the first full year of regulated emissions trading in the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU-ETS). It also discusses the G8 and the Asia-Pacific Partnership, in which many IEA nations participate. Both organisations have inaugurated broad strategic plans to include developing economies in common climate change mitigation goals.

Key Energy Technology Issues
Based on the IEA’s recent analysis Energy Technology Perspectives 2006, the Compendium devotes an entire chapter to energy technologies, outlining important developments in renewables, clean-coal, and other energy research issues. Biomass use in transport is receiving particular attention. The Compendium concludes that moving towards carbon-free electricity is possible by 2050, while achieving a carbon-free future in the transportation sector will take considerably longer.

Developments in Key Non-Member Countries
The Compendium furthermore analyses current energy policy trends in China, India and Russia. Given the rapidly growing importance of these key non-member countries, energy developments there are of major concern as regards energy security and the environmental impact of energy use for IEA member countries and the rest of the world.

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