In December 2017, Penn IUR concluded an analysis of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)-sponsored energy efficiency projects, recommending priorities for future funding by illustrating current gaps. Gap Assessment on APEC Energy Efficiency and Conservation Work Towards Fulfilling the Leader’s Energy Intensity Reduction Goal, Penn IUR’s report for APEC’s Energy Working Group (EWG), is intended to support EWG’s continued progress toward APEC’s energy efficiency goals. This work is a continuation of Penn IUR’s partnership with APEC economies to promote the adoption of energy efficient technologies and practices across the Asia Pacific by supporting knowledge transfer and the adoption of best practices.

The study has three parts: an analysis of funded projects, an evaluation of the macroeconomic and regulatory environment in which APEC economies are working, and an assessment of gaps in the EWG’s energy efficiency work.

To complete the first part of the study, Penn IUR worked with the EWG to analyze twenty-five years of APEC-supported energy efficiency projects. The result is a detailed breakdown of 188 projects into categories by sector, technologies and practices within sectors, types of strategies employed by the project to build knowledge or capacity, and target audiences. The purpose of the analysis was to identify critical technologies or practices that have been omitted, untapped audiences, underutilized channels of deployment (such as, for example, partnerships or media), and other missing elements in the portfolio of projects.

The second part of the study—a detailed assessment of the opportunities and barriers for energy efficiency investments in the APEC region—required building a picture of macro-economic, sectoral, and technological drivers in three demand sectors (building, transportation, and industry). Macro-economic drivers included population growth, national income and gross domestic product, urbanization trends, financial markets, global energy supplies, energy subsidies, and multi-lateral agreements. Sector drivers included global, regional, and economy-specific policy and regulatory environments, the composition of sub-sectors, and local conditions such as available resources and technical capacity as well as economy-specific factors such as geography, climate, energy supply mix, and utility infrastructure. Technology drivers analyzed ranged from investment costs, availability of existing technologies, and emerging innovations. Penn IUR also reviewed the regulatory and policy environments of each APEC economy to identify major economy-specific drivers.

In the third part of the study, Penn IUR identified gaps in EWG’s portfolio of funded projects. Penn IUR identified eight “strategic pathway gaps” (i.e. significant goals, objectives, global drivers, or efficiency pathways that the portfolio of funded projects does not adequately address) and a larger number of “tactical project gaps” (i.e. functional gaps in the portfolio of funded projects). The purpose of this part of the study is to guide the EWG and member economies in their efforts to reduce energy intensity.

The eight strategic cross-cutting gaps that Penn IUR recommended the EWG prioritize going forward are: energy and environmental resiliency; transportation fuel standards and diversification; technology commercialization and innovation; smart jobs and consumers—bridging the skills gap; multi-lateral, peer-to-peer networks; smart grids; increasing economy participation; and expanding non-government audiences and participants. Examples of tactical project gaps include follow-up technical training for benchmarking studies; industrial machinery energy labeling; and integrated land-use and energy planning.

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