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Brazilian Government Energy Research Agency - Policy analysis to inform energy strategy

Carbon Trust analysis of energy efficiency policies and programmes informs the Brazilian Government's energy strategy.


Developing an organisational impact assessment strategy

The Brazilian Government's Energy Research Agency (EPE) turned to us to help it develop an organisational impact assessment strategy, to appraise and evaluate energy policy.

Like all governments, Brazil strives to develop policies that improve social, environmental and economic outcomes while ensuring that benefits outweigh costs. But it can be difficult to allocate budgets and prioritise policies with confidence without a reliable process that compares options in a way that is consistent, consultative and evidence-based.

The Brazilian Government's Energy Research Agency (EPE) wanted to develop such a process to appraise the likely impact of potential policy options, and evaluate the actual impact of policies that had already been implemented. Given the UK's long tradition of impact assessment and the Carbon Trust's expertise in designing and carrying out impact assessment for its own programmes, EPE turned to us to help it develop an organisational impact assessment strategy.

With support from the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Brazil, we conducted an extensive review of the UK's approach to impact assessment, with a particular focus on the ways in which the Department of Energy and Climate Change appraises and evaluates its policies and programmes. We reviewed international best practice, using the United States, Australia and the Netherlands as comparators, and drawing from best practice across the four examples, tailored an implementation strategy that was appropriate to the Brazilian context.

To support the strategy, we wrote a detailed impact assessment guidebook, to lead practitioners through each step of appraisal, consultation, cost-benefit analysis, and options selection, as well as post-implementation evaluation and review. To make it practical, we supported the guidebook with a series of checklists to give practitioners confidence that they'd been thorough in their analysis. 


Thank you very much for the excellent report. You managed to capture very well the Brazilian context and provide very objective recommendations. The write-up is clear and to the point.

Professor Gilberto M Jannuzzi

Executive Director, International Energy Initiative, and National Energy Consultant to the Brazilian Government

The project finished with a two-day training workshop at EPE headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, where EPE staff learned how to appraise and evaluate relevant policies. EPE now plans to pilot impact assessment with a priority energy-related policy challenge with a view to rolling it out more widely as demand from relevant government ministries to appraise and evaluate energy policy grows. 

Energy efficiency policy analysis

Carbon Trust analysis of energy efficiency policies and programmes informs the Brazilian Government's energy strategy - to show how the public sector could lead by example and demonstrate that action is both possible and cost effective.

Brazil is a leader in building a low carbon economy. However, it faces major challenges. Economic and population growth is projected to push up future energy demand, together with the government's determination to raise living standards for the poorest.

The Brazilian Government wants to maintain the high share of electricity generated by renewables, but as cost and planning problems will limit further hydropower expansion, Brazil has made reducing electricity demand a cornerstone of its energy strategy and the public sector is an early priority for action on energy efficiency.

The Brazilian Government's Energy Research Agency turned to the Carbon Trust to understand what Brazil could learn from its experience of improving public sector energy efficiency. EPE wanted us to show how the public sector could lead by example and demonstrate that action is both possible and cost effective.

With support from the UK's FCO, we analysed the success factors behind the UK's most successful policies and programmes of relevance to addressing the needs, barriers and opportunities in the public sector. We found that a broad package of measures was essential, involving carefully designed targets, regulations and incentives, as well as appropriate delivery bodies and support programmes for energy management, backed by the provision of finance, and strengthened by a structured approach to impact assessment.

EPE strongly welcomed our findings, and subsequently commissioned two further pieces of energy related work from us.

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