The Portuguese energy efficiency programs are usually run through grant awards that support energy efficient technologies, including the implementation of policies that encourage investment, the development of training and education programs, and the facilitation of information exchange in the market, which require the establishment of rational investment plans considering distinct budget level inputs to each program. However, the evaluation of the energy efficiency programs and budgets is currently based on the ‘California Standard Practice Manual’, which mainly relies on the economic analysis of demand-side programs and projects. One of the weaknesses of this type of approach is that it cannot accurately capture the complexities and diversity of customer decision-making processes and mainly relying on the device costs targeted for funding. Energy efficiency standards have been focused on reducing energy needs during the use phase of equipment. As energy efficient technologies progress towards low energy consumption, the embodied phase starts to play an important role when considering a life-cycle perspective. Consequently, a wider approach is needed in order to assess the whole energy efficient technology performance during its life span. Hence, it is fundamental to introduce a holistic design approach based on environmental sustainability, following a life-cycle perspective, in order to reduce both energy use and environmental impacts related with energy efficient technologies. This project aims at developing a methodological framework to support public bodies in investment planning for energy efficiency programs based on portfolio theory explicitly considering the energy and carbon embodied in each energy efficient technology.
A two-part methodological approach for supporting public investors with the selection of several energy efficient technologies to be funded will be developed. An Economic Input-Output Life-cycle Assessment modelling framework jointly developed with CIE-ADAI will be used for the appraisal of the energy payback-time/greenhouse gas payback- time of each technology. Then, the promotor of this project will participate in the development of a multiobjective optimization model based on portfolio theory to support public bodies with the selection of the energy efficient technology portfolios to be financed in an uncertain environment. A new approach for obtaining the optimal portfolios of energy efficient technologies will be proposed which allows exploring distinct types of investment strategies, according to the investor’s preferences. The project will benefit from the participation of INESC Coimbra, with relevant the experience in consulting in the Plan for the Promotion of Energy Efficiency with one of the major players in the energy sector in Portugal and CIE-ADAI which has significant expertise in LCA addressing building retrofit strategies considering uncertainty handling.
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