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For the academic journal, see Energy Policy (journal).

Energy policy is the manner in which a given entity (often governmental) has decided to address issues of energy development including energy production, distribution and consumption. The attributes of energy policy may include legislation, international treaties, incentives to investment, guidelines for energy conservation, taxation and other public policy techniques.

National energy policy[edit]

Measures used to produce an energy policy[edit]

A national energy policy comprises a set of measures involving that country's laws, treaties and agency directives. The energy policy of a sovereign nation may include one or more of the following measures:

  • statement of national policy regarding energy planning, energy generation, transmission and usage
  • legislation on commercial energy activities (trading, transport, storage, etc.)
  • legislation affecting energy use, such as efficiency standards, emission standards
  • instructions for state-owned energy sector assets and organizations
  • active participation in, co-ordination of and incentives for mineral fuels exploration (see geological survey) and other energy-related research and development policy command
  • fiscal policies related to energy products and services (taxes, exemptions, subsidies ...
  • energy security and international policy measures such as:
    • international energy sector treaties and alliances,
    • general international trade agreements,
    • special relations with energy-rich countries, including military presence and/or domination.

Frequently the dominant issue of energy policy is the risk of supply-demand mismatch (see: energy crisis). Current energy policies also address environmental issues (see: climate change). Some governments state explicit energy policy, but, declared or not, each government practices some type of energy policy. Economic and energy modelling can be used by governmental or inter-governmental bodies as an advisory and analysis tool (see: economic model, POLES).

Factors within an energy policy[edit]

There are a number of elements that are naturally contained in a national energy policy, regardless of which of the above measures was used to arrive at the resultant policy. The chief elements intrinsic to an energy policy are:

  • What is the extent of energy self-sufficiency for this nation
  • Where future energy sources will derive
  • How future energy will be consumed (e.g. among sectors)
  • What fraction of the population will be acceptable to endure energy poverty
  • What are the goals for future energy intensity, ratio of energy consumed to GDP
  • What is the reliability standard for distribution reliability
  • What environmental externalities are acceptable and are forecast
  • What form of "portable energy" is forecast (e.g. sources of fuel for motor vehicles)
  • How will energy efficient hardware (e.g. hybrid vehicles, household appliances) be encouraged
  • How can the national policy drive province, state and municipal functions
  • What specific mechanisms (e.g. taxes, incentives, manufacturing standards) are in place to implement the total policy
  • What future consequences there will be for national security and foreign policy[1]

State, province or municipal energy policy[edit]

Even within a state it is proper to talk about energy policies in plural. Influential entities, such as municipal or regional governments and energy industries, will each exercise policy. Policy measures available to these entities are lesser in sovereignty, but may be equally important to national measures. In fact, there are certain activities vital to energy policy which realistically cannot be administered at the national level, such as monitoring energy conservation practices in the process of building construction, which is normally controlled by state-regional and municipal building codes (although can appear basic federal legislation).



Brazil is the 10th largest energy consumer in the world and the largest in South America. At the same time, it is an important oil and gas producer in the region and the world's second largest ethanol fuel producer. The governmental agencies responsible for energy policy are the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), the National Council for Energy Policy (CNPE, in the Portuguese-language acronym), the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP) and the National Agency of Electricity (ANEEL).[2][3] State-owned companies Petrobras and Eletrobrás are the major players in Brazil's energy sector.[4]


United States[edit]


European Union[edit]

Although the European Union has legislated, set targets, and negotiated internationally in the area of energy policy for many years, and evolved out of the European Coal and Steel Community, the concept of introducing a mandatory common European Union energy policy was only approved at the meeting of the European Council on October 27, 2005 in London. Following this the first policy proposals, Energy for a Changing World, were published by the European Commission, on January 10, 2007.

United Kingdom[edit]

The energy policy of the United Kingdom has achieved success in (a) reducing energy intensity (but still really high), (b) reducing energy poverty and (c) maintaining energy supply reliability to date. The United Kingdom has an ambitious goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions for future years, but it is unclear whether the programs in place are sufficient to achieve this objective (the way to be so efficient as France is still hard). Regarding energy self sufficiency, the United Kingdom policy does not address this issue, other than to concede historic energy self sufficiency is currently ceasing to exist (due to the decline of the North Sea oil production). With regard to transport, the United Kingdom historically has a good policy record encouraging public transport links with cities, despite encountering problems with high speed trains, which have the potential to reduce dramatically domestic and short-haul European flights. The policy does not, however, significantly encourage hybrid vehicle use or ethanol fuel use, options which represent viable short term means to moderate rising transport fuel consumption. Regarding renewable energy, the United Kingdom has goals for wind and tidal energy. The White Paper on Energy, 2007, set the target that 20% of the UK's energy must come from renewable sources by 2020.

The Soviet Union and Russia[edit]

The Soviet Union was the largest energy provider in the world until the late 1980s. Russia, one of the world's energy superpowers, is rich in natural energy resources, the world’s leading net energy exporter, and a major supplier to the European Union. The main document defining the energy policy of Russia is the Energy Strategy, which initially set out policy for the period up to 2020, later was reviewed, amended and prolonged up to 2030. While Russia has also signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol.




The energy policy of India is characterized by trades between four major drivers:

  • Rapidly growing economy, with a need for dependable and reliable supply of electricity, gas, and petroleum products;
  • Increasing household incomes, with a need for affordable and adequate supply of electricity, and clean cooking fuels;
  • Limited domestic reserves of fossil fuels, and the need to import a vast fraction of the gas, crude oil, and petroleum product requirements, and recently the need to import coal as well; and
  • Indoor, urban and regional environmental impacts, necessitating the need for the adoption of cleaner fuels and cleaner technologies.

In recent years, these challenges have led to a major set of continuing reforms, restructuring and a focus on energy conservation.


The energy policy of Thailand is characterized by 1) increasing energy consumption efficiency, 2) increasing domestic energy production, 3) increasing the private sector's role in the energy sector, 4) increasing the role of market mechanisms in setting energy prices. These policies have been consistent since the 1990s, despite various changes in governments. The pace and form of industry liberalization and privatization has been highly controversial.



Australia's energy policy features a combination of coal power stations, and hydro electricity plants. The Australian Government has decided not to build nuclear power, although it is one of the world's largest producers of uranium..

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hamilton, Michael S. 2013. Energy Policy Analysis: A Conceptual Framework. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, Inc.
  2. ^ IEA. World Energy Outlook 2006. ISBN 92-64-10989-7
  3. ^ "Project Closing Report. Natural Gas Centre of Excellence Project. Narrative" (PDF). 20 March 2005. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-05-12. 
  4. ^ Silvestre, B. S., Dalcol, P. R. T. Geographical proximity and innovation: Evidences from the Campos Basin oil & gas industrial agglomeration — Brazil. Technovation (2009), doi:10.1016/j.technovation.2009.01.003

Further reading[edit]

  • Fouquet, Roger, and Peter JG Pearson. "Seven Centuries of Energy Services: The Price and Use of Light in the United Kingdom (1300-2000)." Energy Journal 27.1 (2006).
  • Gales, Ben, et al. "North versus South: Energy transition and energy intensity in Europe over 200 years." European Review of Economic History 11.2 (2007): 219-253.
  • Lifset, Robert, ed. American Energy Policy in the 1970s (University of Oklahoma Press; 2014) 322 pages;
  • Nye, David E. Consuming power: A social history of American energies (MIT Press, 1999)
  • Pratt, Joseph A. Exxon: Transforming Energy, 1973-2005 (2013) 600pp
  • Smil, Vaclav (1994). Energy in World History. Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-1902-1. 
  • Stern, David I. "The role of energy in economic growth." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1219.1 (2011): 26-51. online
  • Warr, Benjamin, et al. "Energy use and economic development: A comparative analysis of useful work supply in Austria, Japan, the United Kingdom and the US during 100 years of economic growth." Ecological Economics 69.10 (2010): 1904-1917. online

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_policy — Please support Wikipedia.
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8272 news items

The Guardian

The Guardian
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 01:41:51 -0700

... but also between generation and demand resources so that the industry is a partner to (rather than a victim of) energy policy. We must help the UK move towards a modern, affordable, secure and sustainable energy system. Juan Garcia-Marquina is ...

Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 16:24:11 -0700

He's reducing CO2 coal emissions via regulation, but he can do more to develop U.S. oil and natural gas. Email; Print; 75 Comments. Facebook. Share. 0. Twitter. Google+. LinkedIn. smaller; Larger. By. John Deutch. Aug. 18, 2014 7:23 p.m. ET. President ...
Daily Sabah
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 06:52:30 -0700

ANKARA — Turkey's new prime minister laid the ground for numerous international energy projects through his active energy diplomacy during his term in the Foreign Ministry, an Ankara-based expert said Friday. And now that Ahmet Davutoğlu has become ...
Daily Sabah
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 06:52:30 -0700

NEW PM TO RUN ACTIVE ENERGY POLICY. AA; Published : 30.08.2014 01:21:25. New PM to run active energy policy. ANKARA — Turkey's new prime minister laid the ground for numerous international energy projects through his active energy diplomacy ...
The Missoulian
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 06:57:37 -0700

I'm all for a strong, diverse energy policy. But any policy must be honest and internally consistent. It must articulate its goals, and all of its parts should support those goals. Some example goals might include low energy costs to support the ...
Financial Times
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 00:48:17 -0700

Since reaching more than $130 a tonne in 2011, thermal coal has dropped almost 50 per cent and is currently trading at levels last seen in 2009 when China, historically a net exporter, started to import large quantities of the combustible rock to meet ...

Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 19:30:55 -0700

BASF, which consumes as much electricity every year at its main German plant as the entire country of Denmark, said in May it would substantially reduce its investments in Germany as a result of the country's energy policy. It said its plan for the ...
Bismarck Tribune
Sun, 17 Aug 2014 00:07:30 -0700

Earlier this month, as a part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Quadrennial Energy Review, federal and state officials met in Bismarck to discuss national energy policy and the role North Dakota will play to support energy independence in our country.

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