Effective energy efficiency policy implementation targetion "New Modern Energy CONsumers" in the Greater Mekong Subregion

Impact summary

Impact Summary

Energy efficiency (EE) has long been highlighted as critical to help meet substantial growth in energy demand. EE offers a number of benefits including: reduced household expenditure on energy; reduced energy demand; greenhouse gas emission reductions; and reduced dependence on imported fossil fuels and thus enhanced energy security at the national level. By drawing together existing research and data on energy efficiency in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS),MECON will identify and seek to fill existing gaps in the knowledge. Building upon this sound evidence base, MECON will develop locally-appropriate energy efficiency policies, specifically aimed at new modern energy consumers.Several stakeholder groups will benefit both directly and indirectly, from the results of the research.

First and foremost,governments of the GMS will gain new insights into the ways in which EE may be realized. MECON will adopt a holistic,multi-disciplinary approach that will combine several perspectives and data sources, including existing energy data,available EE technologies, socio-economic conditions and institutional arrangements. This holistic approach will be translated into recommendations for locally-appropriate policy design and implementation for promoting EE particularly amongst new modern energy consumers in the GMS. Policy-relevant insights will address both the policies required to address a range of technical and non-technical barriers, as well as the institutional challenges.

Secondly, new modern energy consumers i.e. those who are connected to the electricity grid, but who have low daily incomes (US$2-5) will benefit from more targeted policies to promote EE. For example, the introduction of specific investment incentives for new modern energy consumers, which may include greater access to finance through microfinance energy service companies (ESCOs) or loans and/ or specific tools to addressing “energy literacy”, such as guidance in reading energy labels, will enable these energy consumers to make more informed decisions about energy use and EE. Reduced expenditure on household energy needs will free up income for other needs, such as education and income generating activities.

Thirdly, companies involved in the supply chain for household EE technologies, as well as service providers, such as ESCOs and banks, will benefit from the research. The establishment of a robust evidence base on household energy use,behaviors, opportunities and barriers to acceptance of EE technologies will enable these actors to develop more targeted interventions. In addition, this evidence base will be of use for the future creation of an internal ASEAN market (the ASEAN Economic Community/AEC), particularly the commercial sector in EE technologies.

Finally, this project will strengthen existing capacity amongst the project team. It will also promote research links, networks and knowledge transfer amongst project partners, and other researchers in the UK and GMS countries – Myanmar,Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Being a project funded by the EPSRC, DECC and DFID will facilitate knowledge transfer and dissemination of the project outcomes, while the knowledge generated by MECON will provide a valuable resource for UK and GMS researchers. MECON is a multi-disciplinary project, drawing on a range of disciplines (e.g.science and technology studies, energy policy, innovation studies, economics, energy for development, engineering etc.) whose members have substantial expertise in energy research in the GMS. This research will also contribute to the career and skills development of all named researchers, and associated PhD researchers at UCL, JGSEE, NUOL, MES, HUST and RUA.