The Case of Energy Agencies: German Experiences and lessons learnt for Thailand and Asia

Christoph Menke


Providing efficient energy service is often more economical than building a new power plant or deliver more energy for heating, lighting and cooling needs. Nevertheless, the shift towards more efficient technologies is not automatic, due to a number of barriers such as lack of information about energy efficient technologies and experiences with their implementation, lack of skilled and trained personal, lack of capital among potential investors, conflicting interests between investor and users, and a lack of financial or other incentives for decision-makers. Renewable energy technologies such as Solar Home Systems face similar barriers to their implementation. Often energy supply is subsidized and external costs are not included in the pricing, leading to distortion and an underinvestment in energy efficient technologies. Most of these barriers can be overcome when you bundle knowledge, information, and project management skills in adequate institutions. Government and their direct institutions usually do not have the capacities to fulfill this task effectively and efficiently. In Germany, as in other countries, this led to the idea of founding energy agencies (EA) many years ago. These energy agencies have many advantages in handling the "four A" (Awareness, Acceptance, Affordability and Access) and other problems successful sustainable energy policies have to cope with. The focus of this paper is to present an overview of German experiences with different concepts of energy agencies. It will describe their institutional structures, their fields of activity as well as their finances and last but not least: the justification for their establishment. The paper will conclude with lessons learnt and recommendations for the establishment of energy agencies in Asia, especially in Thailand.


Energy agencies, Energy efficiency policy, German experience, Lessons learnt.

Full Text: