A well conceived energy policy should address the needs and avail of opportunities in social, environmental, technical, regulatory, and economic dimensions. SEAI is committed to maintaining a central role in providing defensible evidence and analysis that supports the implementation of policy on the ground.
Sustainable energy is no longer simply one facet of energy policy. Rather, attaining sustainability has become a primary goal. In working towards a transition to this goal, there are tensions and synergies between the three pillars of energy policy (namely: competitiveness, environment, and security).
A sense of urgency is required in this action as highlighted in the EU Green Paper on Energy, “Europe must act urgently: it takes many years to bring innovation on stream in the energy sector. It must also continue to promote diversity – of energy type, country of origin and transit. In this way it will create the conditions for growth, jobs, greater security and a better environment. Work has been progressing…but given recent developments on energy markets, a new European impetus is needed.”
The G8 leaders at the July, 2006 St. Petersburg Summit created a position paper on the issue of global energy security. It notes, “Energy is essential to improving the quality of life and opportunities in developed and developing nations. Therefore, ensuring sufficient, reliable and environmentally responsible supplies of energy at prices reflecting market fundamentals is a challenge for our countries and for mankind as a whole.”
SEAI’s programmes and policy advice are informed and influenced by a wide range of actors. By participating in international fora, supporting interactions with Brussels, and engaging with national stakeholders we can best gain a coherent picture of the energy landscape. The following three sections outline a number of the key drivers for energy policy.
1. National Policy drivers
2. European Union Drivers
3. International Context