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IEA Country Reviews

More info about this title Energy Policies of IEA Countries - Austria -- 2014 Review, 148 pages, ISBN 978-92-64-20960-2, paper €75, PDF €60 (2014)
IEA country reviews are only available in PDF format. We no longer offer printed copies.

Austria's energy policy rests on three pillars – security of supply, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. The country’s decarbonisation drive has strengthened as the economy and renewable energy use have continued to grow, while fossil fuel use has decreased. Notably, Austria has more than tripled the public funding for energy research, development and demonstration since 2007.

Greenhouse gas emissions from energy use, which peaked in 2005, still need to be reduced further, and the transport sector offers prime opportunities for this. In the context of EU negotiations on an energy and climate policy framework to 2030, Austria should develop a strategy that also integrates security of supply and internal market dimensions.

Closer cross-border integration of both electricity and natural gas markets and systems is required to build a single European market. This calls for increased co-ordination and co-operation with neighbouring countries. Austria should also encourage investment in networks, optimise demand response and integrate variable renewable energy supply in a cost-effective and market-based manner.

A well-functioning internal market can help reduce the growing concerns over energy prices and costs, both for industry and for citizens. Austria could address these concerns also by implementing more energy efficiency measures and facilitating greater retail market competition.

This review analyses the energy policy challenges facing Austria and provides sectoral studies and recommendations for further policy improvements. It is intended to help guide the country towards a more secure and sustainable energy future.
More info about this title Estonia 2013 -- Energy Policies Beyond IEA Countries, 146 pages, ISBN 978-92-6419079-5, paper €75, PDF €60 (2013)
One of the fastest-growing economies in the OECD, Estonia is actively seeking to reduce the intensity of its energy system. Many of these efforts are focused on oil shale, which the country has been using for almost a century and which meets 70% of its energy demand. While it provides a large degree of energy security, oil shale is highly carbon-intensive. The government is seeking to lessen the negative environmental impact by phasing out old power plants and developing new technologies to reduce significantly CO2 emissions.

The efforts on oil shale complement Estonia’s solid track record of modernising its overall energy system. Since restoring its independence in 1991, Estonia has fully liberalised its electricity and gas markets and attained most national energy policy targets and commitments for 2020. It has also started preparing its energy strategy to 2030, with an outlook to 2050. Estonia is also promoting energy market integration with neighbouring EU member states. The strengthening of the Baltic electricity market and its timely integration with the Nordic market, as well as the establishment of a regional gas market, are therefore key priorities for Estonia.

Following its accession to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2010, Estonia applied for International Energy Agency (IEA) membership in 2011. This review of Estonia’s energy policies is part of the IEA accession process. It analyses the energy policy challenges and opportunities facing Estonia, and provides critiques and recommendations for future policy improvements. It is intended to guide the country towards a more secure and sustainable energy future.
More info about this title Energy Policies of IEA Countries - Germany -- 2013 Review, 212 pages, ISBN 978-92-64-19075-7, paper €75, PDF €60 (2013)
Since the IEA last reviewed Germany’s energy policies in 2007, the country has taken two fundamental policy decisions that will guide its energy policy in coming decades. In September 2010, the federal government adopted the Energy Concept, a comprehensive new strategy for a long-term integrated energy pathway to 2050. Following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in March 2011, Germany decided to accelerate the phase-out of nuclear power by 2022 starting with the immediate closure of the eight oldest plants. This decision resulted in the adoption of a suite of new policy measures and determined renewable energy as the cornerstone of future energy supply, a set of policy instruments commonly known as the Energiewende.

In order to achieve the ambitious energy transformation set out in the Energiewende, by 2030 half of all electricity supply will come from renewable energy sources; Germany must continue to develop cost-effective market-based approaches which will support the forecasted growth of variable renewable generation. Furthermore, the costs and benefits need to be allocated in a fair and transparent way among all market participants, especially households.

In the future, renewable energy capacity must expand in parallel with the timely development of the transmission and distribution networks. In addition, a stable regulatory system is necessary to ensure long-term finance to network operators. Furthermore, close monitoring of Germany’s ability to meet electricity demand at peak times should continue in the medium term.

Energy policy decisions in Germany inevitably have an impact beyond the country’s borders and must be taken within the context of a broader European energy policy framework and in close consultation with its neighbours.

This review analyses the energy-policy challenges facing Germany and provides recommendations for further policy improvements. It is intended to help guide the country towards a more secure and sustainable energy future.

Download here the executive summary in German.
More info about this title Energy Policies of IEA Countries - Finland -- 2013 Review, 176 pages, ISBN 978-92-64-19077-1, paper €75, PDF €60 (2013)
Type: Country Reviews
Subject: Energy Policy ; Renewable Energy ; Energy Security
Finland’s economy is highly industrialised. Yet with over one-third of its territory located above the Arctic Circle, the country is largely rural and sparsely populated, except for its southern tip. With its energy-intensive industries and its cold climate, Finland’s energy consumption per capita is the highest in the IEA.

Finland is highly dependent on imported fossil fuels, and energy policy is at the heart of the government’s concerns. The government’s energy strategy aims to strengthen Finland’s energy security, to move progressively towards a decarbonised economy, and to deepen its integration in the wider European market.

Finland has a very ambitious renewable energy programme, with a view to meeting 38% of its final energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020. Finland is the most forested country in Europe; biomass will thus play a central role in meeting the target.

Finland is one of few IEA countries with plans to expand its nuclear capacity, and the Parliament has approved the construction of two more nuclear power plants. If all planned projects are completed, the share of electricity produced by nuclear could double by 2025, reaching around 60%. This would contribute to diversifying Finland’s energy security and meeting its low-carbon objectives.

Also, Finland participates in the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP), which aims to further regional integration through EU-supported infrastructure projects.

This review analyses the energy policy challenges facing Finland, and provides sectoral studies and recommendations for further policy improvements. It is intended to help guide the country towards a more secure and sustainable energy future.
More info about this title Energy Policies of IEA Countries - Sweden -- 2013 Review, 182 pages, ISBN 978-92-64-19073-3, paper €75, PDF €60 (2013)
Download here the free chapter on the Swedish energy policy framework

Sweden has made progress in recent years towards a more secure, sustainable energy future. The Scandinavian nation already has an almost carbon-free electricity supply and has phased out oil use in residential and power sectors. It is increasingly integrated within the Nordic and Baltic electricity markets, and its joint renewable electricity certificate market with Norway offers a unique model for other countries.

Now Sweden must take concrete steps to realise its vision of a fossil-fuel-independent vehicle fleet by 2030 and no net greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050. Although Sweden has decided to allow the replacement of its existing nuclear reactors, further emission reductions will come at a higher cost and require technology change. This means Sweden will need to carefully evaluate the most cost-effective pathways for its transition to a low-carbon economy.

Sweden has a high energy-intensity level, which requires greater energy efficiency in industry, buildings, heat and transport. A decarbonisation vision should be mapped out for each industry sector. Starting with transport, Sweden must specify how it will wean its vehicle fleet from fossil fuels by 2030.

Sweden’s industry lead in smart grids is an asset. Sweden should scale up investment in clean energy technologies. As all Nordic countries decarbonise, cost-effective regional solutions can control consumers’ costs. The large-scale deployment of renewable and energy technologies in a common Northern European energy market can drive decarbonisation without comprising competitiveness, security of supply and affordability.

This review analyses the energy-policy challenges currently facing Sweden, and provides studies and recommendations for each sector.
More info about this title Energy Policies of IEA Countries - The Netherlands -- 2014 Review, 204 pages, paper €75, PDF €60 (2014)
IEA country reviews are only available in PDF format. We no longer offer printed copies.

Since the last review in 2008, the Netherlands has attracted investment in oil and gas storage; coal, oil and gas import terminals; and efficient power plants. This additional capacity provides flexibility and energy security both in the Netherlands and across EU markets. The Netherlands plays an important role in Europe as a hub for global energy trade, thanks to its open market and integrated supply chains.

However, the outlook for Europe’s second-largest producer of natural gas is challenging amid declining production and uncertain prospects for unconventional gas. Developing the remaining natural gas potential, market integration, and ensuring the security of supply and resilience of energy infrastructure during the transition should be top priorities.

The Netherlands stimulates energy efficiency and innovation in energy-intensive industries along the whole supply chain, notably in the Dutch refining, petrochemical and agriculture sectors, a practice that contributes to industrial competitiveness.

Despite successful decoupling of greenhouse-gas emissions from economic growth between 1990 and 2012, however, the Netherlands remains one of the most fossil-fuel- and CO2-intensive economies among IEA member countries. In September 2013, the Netherlands reached an Energy Agreement with key stakeholders on priority actions to support sustainable economic growth through 2020. In addition to implementing the agreement, the government must set the scene for a stable policy framework up to 2030, which is also crucial for renewable energies.

The Netherlands has accelerated permit procedures for new energy infrastructure and is driving technology cost reduction with reformed renewable support. The country can benefit from further interconnections with neighbouring countries, as renewables become an integral part of wholesale and balancing electricity markets in the EU.

This review analyses the energy policy challenges currently facing the Netherlands and provides recommendations for each sector. It gives advice on implementing the Energy Agreement and how to leverage international opportunities from clean energy technologies.