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Improving the Institutional Structures for Disseminating Energy Efficiency in Emerging Nations: Energy Agencies in South Africa

Discussion Papers 347, 29 S.

Barbara Praetorius, Jan W. Bleyl

2003. Mai.

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Published in: Energy Policy 34 (2006), 13, 1520-1531


Emerging nations are typically characterized by high energy intensities despite significant energy efficiency potentials and numerous project oriented efforts to introduce energy-efficient technologies. The paper argues that successful technology dissemination needs appropriate institutional structures to reduce the related transaction cost. While a project-by-project approach risks to evaporate after completion, an energy agency would allow to bundle the know-how and information gained, ease access to funding and thus reduce information search cost and increase availability of efficient technologies. In a case study for South Africa, we examine the appropriateness of this concept for emerging nations. We discuss the underlying incentive problem from a New Institutional Economics perspective and suggest an approach to the design and implementation of operable energy agencies.

Keywords: Energy efficiency, energy agency, emerging nations, South Africa, New Institutional Economics
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