Formulating Modern Energy Policy through a Collaborative Expert Model

Formulating Modern Energy Policy through a Collaborative Expert Model

Kostas Patlitzianas, Kostas Metaxiotis
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-737-9.ch008
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Nowadays, a comprehensive and modern energy policy making, which will be characterized by clarity and transparency, is necessary. Indeed, there exists a number of energy policy and planning systems, but there are no decision support systems investigating the energy policy making in an integrated way. In this context, the main aim of this chapter is to present an expert system based on a “multidimensional” approach for the energy policy making, which also incorporates the three objectives (security of supply, competitiveness of energy market and environmental protection) and takes into consideration all the related economical, social and technological parameters. This model was successfully applied in order to support the decisions towards the development of the energy policy priorities in the developing Mediterranean Countries as well as the countries of Gulf Cooperation Council – GCC.
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1. Introduction

The energy policy is directed by the security of supply, the competitiveness of energy market and the environmental protection, based on the European Union (EU) energy objectives. In the last years, extensive discussions took place as regards how a competitive energy market would promote, - indirectly perhaps via forces of market - the other energy policy objectives, shifting at the same time the decisions centre from the state to the rest “players” of the market (energy companies / users) (Patlitzianas & Psarras, 2006). This fact caused the intense interest of energy policy analysts and researchers. In this framework, energy policy should compromise the desirable objectives and encourage the close collaboration between the “players” towards the confrontation of the various obstacles (Doukas, Patlitzianas, Kagiannas, & Psarras, 2008).

According to the developments in European Union (EU), the possible principles of Energy Policy for Europe were elaborated at the Commission's green paper “A European Strategy for Sustainable, Competitive and Secure Energy” on 8 March 2006. As a result of the decision to develop a common energy policy, the first proposals, “Energy for a Changing World” were published by the European Commission, following a consultation process, on 10 January 2007. It is claimed that they will lead to a 'post-industrial revolution', or a low-carbon economy, in the European Union, as well as increased competition in the energy markets, improved security of supply, and improved employment prospects. Although the proposals have been adopted by the European Commission, they require the approval of the European Parliament but were debated and approved at a meeting of the European Council on March 8 and 9, 2007.

The EU has also promoted electricity market liberalisation and security of supply through the 2003 Internal Market in Electricity Directive, which replaced early directives in this area. The 2004 Gas Security Directive has been intended to improve security of supply in the natural gas sector.

Renewable energy has a long history as a central focus of European energy policy. As early as 1986, the European Council listed the promotion of renewable energy sources among its energy objectives. In 1997, the Commission established a target to increase the overall share of renewable energy to 12 percent by 2010 (Doukas et al, 2006). The Commission’s most recent initiative, the energy and climate-change package of January 10, 2007, updated this target: 20 percent of all EU energy consumption is to come from renewable sources by 2020. It also established a “minimum target” of 10 percent of the petrol and diesel market to be represented by biofuels by 2020. At the spring meeting of the European Council in Brussels on March 8–9, 2007, the EU heads of state and government endorsed both targets as binding.

In addition to this, the challenges in living conditions and societies have a strong impact on the energy market, since they are related to the increasing energy consumption (Patlitzianas et al, 2006). As a result, uncertainties and conflicts put on the map the important role of the energy market, in spite of its small contribution in the total economic production, which is estimated about 5-10%. (Helm, 2002).

Beyond the bounds of the European Union, energy policy has included negotiating and developing wider international agreements, such as the Energy Charter Treaty, the Kyoto Protocol, the post-Kyoto regime and a framework agreement on energy efficiency; extension of the EC energy regulatory framework or principles to neighbours (Energy Community, Baku Initiative, Euromed energy cooperation) and the emission trading scheme to global partners; the promotion of research and the use of renewable energy.

To sum up, the current plan (2008) of the EU are: 20% increase in energy efficiency, 20% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, 20% share of renewable in overall EU energy consumption by 2020, 10% biofuel component in vehicle fuel by 2020. However, these plans are very ambitious (e.g. today 8.5% of energy is renewable) (Patlitzianas et al., 2008). In particular, the European Commission announced it will issue before the end of 2007 a Framework Directive covering, amongst other sectors, the electricity sector to support renewable energy’s development and reach the target of 20% renewable energy by 2020.

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