An Exploratory Study On Energy Sustainability Indicators For Local Energy Planning
Free (open access)
611 - 622
A. R. Neves & V. Leal
Energy challenges of today encompass a paradigm shift, moving from centralized systems focused on energy production to a decentralized management approach. Local authorities have an important role to play in promoting sustainable energy systems. Initiatives emerging in the European Union and in other parts of the world, such as the Covenant of Mayors or the Clinton Climate Initiative, stress the fact that cities are important actors for implementing sustainable energy policies and their actions must be encouraged and supported. However, current processes of energy planning and assessment at the local level are still lacking a common and systematic methodology for the evaluation of energy sustainability. The development of energy and climate change policies, as well as the implementation of sustainable energy action plans, stresses the need for monitoring and reporting the progress towards sustainable energy goals. This paper presents a review on how energy is included in the main sets of sustainable development indicators and discusses its commonalities and differences. It also addresses the issues of applicability and measurability at the local level, since most of the energy indicators were designed to be used at the national level. It then attempts to identify existing gaps in the evaluation of local energy sustainability, and ends up with a proposal of a core set of indicators that can be used to assess in a comprehensive way the performance of local energy systems. The local level set of indicators proposed seeks to provide insights to local decision-makers by measuring and tracking progress towards the several dimensions of sustainability in what regards the local energy system, and its management structure. Keywords: energy sustainability indicators, local level, energy planning.
energy sustainability indicators, local level, energy planning.