A short desk study on the possible relevance of the Energy Efficiency First Principle for India
Article 2(18) of the Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action provided the following definition of the Energy Efficiency First Principle: “energy efficiency first means taking utmost account in energy planning, and in policy and investment decisions, of alternative cost-efficient energy efficiency measures to make energy demand and energy supply more efficient, in particular by means of cost-effective end-use energy savings, demand response initiatives and more efficient conversion, transmission, and distribution of energy, whilst still achieving the objectives of those decisions.”
The Energy Efficiency First Principle is a horizontal guiding principle of the EU’s climate and energy governance that establishes that only the energy needed is produced and investments in stranded assets are to be avoided in the path of achieving climate goals.
The principle also puts forth the ‘save before you build’ philosophy by treating energy efficiency as the ‘first fuel’ in which both the public and the private sectors can invest ahead of more complex or costly energy sources.
This study done under the EU-India Clean Energy and Climate Partnership focuses on understanding the key elements of the Energy Efficiency First principle as applied in the EU and assesses whether and how it could be relevant in the Indian context, in relation to the Energy Conservation Act and / or other policies that have a high impact on energy demand.
The report also highlights the potential sectors in India which could benefit by integrating the Energy Efficiency First Principle. It also details out the possible strategies which could be adopted by different sectors and also lists out the challenges for integrating them, including the way forward.