Improving the Energy Policymaking Process and Integration of Sustainability Metrics into Decision-Making

Improving the Energy Policymaking Process and Integration of Sustainability Metrics into Decision-Making

Summary of the Topic

The topic explores the energy policymaking process, which outlines the various perspectives of address the climate change effects across the world. The energy policymaking process encompasses the strategies for enhancing the economic and social wellbeing of citizens in developing and developed nations (Kaya et al., 2019). The process seeks to build a more robust, cleaner, and fairer environment than the current circumstances created by irresponsible human actions. Countries adopt strategies and create forums for sharing experiences, evaluating, and implementing solutions to the energy problems in readiness for social, economic, and environmental changes (Howells et al., 2013). The energy policymaking process will cover the key sustainability pillars such as the society, environment, and economy alongside their role in influencing the policies for achieving the set sustainability outcomes. However, nations have not taken the deliberate problem solving despite the obvious climate change threat (Dermont et al., 2017). The policymaking process remains an iterative and cyclical activity whose agenda as well as content varies across the global economy.

The integration of the various sustainability metrics into the decision-making around energy policymaking is an important discourse. The key metrics for consideration include greenhouse gas emissions, water use, water pollution, energy-generation mix, and waste generation (Jacob-Lopes, 2021; Cabezas & Diwekar, 2012). The sustainability metrics underline the extent of climate risk, carbon emissions, and energy consumptions, which could reveal the direct detriment to the environment. Therefore, the sustainability metrics guide decision-making process based on the effectiveness and impact of the existing policies. The topic prompts a discussion on the internal and external processes by countries to measure as well as improve their sustainability performance besides the revising the existing energy policymaking framework.


  1. Energy Policymaking Process at the Global Level
    1. Sovacool (2013) examined the policymaking process in Denmark following its transition into wind energy technology as opposed to imported oil and coal in 1970s
    2. Blanchet (2015) recognized the grassroot challenges of maintaining the effectiveness of a local energy system in Berlin besides influencing the implementation of a visionary local energy transition
    3. Kuzemko (2013) explained the energy relations between the European Union (EU) and Russia to understand the divergent concepts or perspectives’ impact on the policymaking process
    4. Littlefield (2013) recognized the complexity of the energy policymaking process as a critical and intricate phase in the US considering conflicting issues of taxation, regulations, and technology promotion
  2. Energy Policymaking Process in Saudi Arabia
    1. Salam and Khan (2017) studied the investment of Saudi Arabian government in the ambitious 41Giga Watt solar installation project to underline transition on clean energy
    2. Mansouri et al. (2013) recognized companies and electricity sector in Saudi Arabia as part of the policymaking process as the countries projects to curb the emissions with solar photovoltaic technologies by 2025
    3. According to Mujeebu and Alshamrani (2016), Saudi Arabia has taken policy-level measures increased public awareness, and invested the best technologies to match global trends in energy conservation as well as management
  • Sustainability Metrics in Decision-Making
    1. Shortall and Davidsdottir (2017) interviewed decision-makers in Iceland and found varying relevance of using efficiency, energy security, renewables, energy affordability, and equity as the best metrics
      1. Challenges of misalignment with the sustainable development principles, lack of methodological transparency, and inappropriateness limited Iceland’s application of the metrics
    2. According to Akadiri et al. (2019), Italy’s environmental sustainability process needed globalization, income, and the energy to develop appropriate or balanced conservation policies
    3. Ren and Sovacool (2014) used a brief Chinese case study to generate energy metrics such as security, affordability, and availability compelled energy security approaches as well as policies




Akadiri, S. S., Alkawfi, M. M., Uğural, S., & Akadiri, A. C. (2019). Towards achieving environmental sustainability target in Italy. The role of energy, real income and globalization. Science of the Total Environment, 671, 1293–1301.

Blanchet, T. (2015). Struggle over energy transition in Berlin: How do grassroots initiatives affect local energy policy-making? Energy Policy, 78, 246–254.

Cabezas, H., & Diwekar, U. (2012). Sustainability: Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives. Bentham Science Publishers.

Dermont, C., Ingold, K., Kammermann, L., & Stadelmann-Steffen, I. (2017). Bringing the policy making perspective in: A political science approach to social acceptance. Energy Policy, 108, 359–368.

Howells, M., Hermann, S., Welsch, M., Bazilian, M., Segerström, R., Alfstad, T., Gielen, D., Rogner, H., Fischer, G., van Velthuizen, H., Wiberg, D., Young, C., Roehrl, R. A., Mueller, A., Steduto, P., & Ramma, I. (2013). Integrated analysis of climate change, land-use, energy and water strategies. Nature Climate Change, 3(7), 621–626.

Jacob-Lopes, E. (2021). Sustainability Metrics and Indicators of Environmental Impact: Industrial and Agricultural Life Cycle Assessment. Elsevier.

Kaya, İ., Çolak, M., & Terzi, F. (2019). A comprehensive review of fuzzy multi criteria decision making methodologies for energy policy making. Energy Strategy Reviews, 24, 207–228.

Kuzemko, C. (2013). Ideas, power and change: Explaining EU–Russia energy relations. Journal of European Public Policy, 21(1), 58–75.

Littlefield, S. R. (2013). Security, independence, and sustainability: Imprecise language and the manipulation of energy policy in the United States. Energy Policy, 52, 779–788.

Mansouri, N. Y., Crookes, R. J., & Korakianitis, T. (2013). A projection of energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions in the electricity sector for Saudi Arabia: The case for carbon capture and storage and solar photovoltaics. Energy Policy, 63, 681–695.

Mujeebu, M. A., & Alshamrani, O. S. (2016). Prospects of energy conservation and management in buildings – The Saudi Arabian scenario versus global trends. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 58, 1647–1663.

Ren, J., & Sovacool, B. K. (2014). Quantifying, measuring, and strategizing energy security: Determining the most meaningful dimensions and metrics. Energy, 76, 838–849.

Salam, M. A., & Khan, S. A. (2017). Transition towards sustainable energy production – A review of the progress for solar energy in Saudi Arabia. Energy Exploration & Exploitation, 36(1), 3–27.

Shortall, R., & Davidsdottir, B. (2017). How to measure national energy sustainability performance: An Icelandic case-study. Energy for Sustainable Development, 39, 29–47.

Sovacool, B. K. (2013). Energy policymaking in Denmark: Implications for global energy security and sustainability. Energy Policy, 61, 829–839.