The provision of effective energy system and infrastructure is essential for economic growth and for achieving increases in standards of living. At the same time the need to cut energy consumption is becoming an increasing priority, not just to combat environmental degradation and meet international climate commitments, but also to reduce countries’ exposure to rising and often volatile energy prices.
Linked to this, the trend of increasing urbanisation across the world, coupled with the development of further economic links between and within countries, brings into sharp relief the need for efficient and integrated transport-related policies and infrastructure. Urban and rural planning and development, such that consider these and other multiple areas, gain centrality.
Government policies play a central role to the solutions for addressing these complex requirements. But the challenge is devising a policy framework that encourages the more efﬁcient use of energy and effective development and utilisation of transportation while adding to a country’s competitive strengths and ensuring solutions are sustainability.
Human Dynamics brings skills and expertise that enable the delivery of public policies and their effective implementation — at international, national or local level — to address these complex and multi-faceted challenges.
Ensuring access to energy supplies that are sustainable, affordable and reliable is one of the major challenges of development. What is the best way to supply remote populations with energy? How can supply develop to match a constantly growing demand? What are the best technologies to ensure this? How can the balance the struck between public and private energy suppliers? And how can finance be leveraged to enable this?
The volatility of energy prices, coupled with the energy supply disruptions in several countries, has underlined the importance of developing a strategy for securing a reliable, long-term supply. Maintaining a diverse mix of energy such as gas, coal and hydro is a prerequisite for stability. But what is the right balance? Which suppliers should be used to minimise the risk of disruption or unexpected price increases? And what about considerations for combating climate change and promoting renewable energy? In all cases, any strategy must be based on an in-depth analysis of long-term energy requirements.
A detailed analysis of a country’s or region’s transport infrastructure and freight ﬂows can often reveal relatively simple, low-cost ways to reduce energy usage, for example by linking different modes of transport, such as road and rail, while improving efficiency and access. Reducing trafﬁc levels and bottlenecks through toll systems, electronic trafﬁc management systems, and infrastructure upgrades also have a major role. For mass transit, the expansion of local public transport services brings both opportunities and challenges, ensuring the right balance between provision, demand, cost and pricing.
Positive economic incentives for organisations and individuals to operate are as important as ﬁtting a legal framework. How can fuel pricing be structured either to reduce energy consumption or to encourage a shift to more sustainable fuel sources without damaging competitiveness or disadvantaging communities? Are there alternative national fuel stocks such as biofuels and, if so, what mechanisms will increase their supply (and reduce dependency on imports)? Could there be export opportunities for such fuels? Is it economically viable to offer ﬁnancial inducements for retro-ﬁtting clean technology in vehicles, or even an opportunity to grow businesses around this technology?
Behavioural change is a major driver for minimising energy consumption and environmental impacts. ‘Eco-driving’ training schemes for freight operators and business ﬂeets should be assessed. Public awareness campaigns that focus on the commercial and personal ﬁnancial savings of energy conservation should also enter the mix.