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Repensando las políticas de eficiencia energética

CRACOVIA – Mejorar la eficiencia energética es una política de moda que promueven los gobiernos en todo el mundo. En los papeles, parece algo obvio: mejorar la eficiencia energética se vende como una medida que reduce costos, genera empleos y salva al planeta. Se gana por todos lados -y los medios suelen aportar su granito de arena al centrarse enteramente en todos los supuestos beneficios-. Pero la historia tiene otra cara -y es negativa.

Después de invertir 240 millones de libras (316 millones de dólares), el Reino Unido puso fin el año pasado al financiamiento oficial de su programa insignia de préstamos para la eficiencia energética, después de que un informe mordaz de la Oficina Nacional de Auditoría revelara que el programa no convencía a la gente de suscribirlo ni ofrecía medidas costo-efectivas de ahorro de energía para quienes sí lo hacían. La política "no persuadió a los dueños de los hogares de que valía la pena pagar por las medidas de eficiencia energética", según los auditores, y "no ofreció ningún beneficio significativo".

Y una política de eficiencia energética muy promocionada en California pareció mucho menos espectacular cuando el economista ambiental Arik Levinson -ex economista sénior para cuestiones ambientales del Consejo de Asesores Económicos bajo la presidencia de Barack Obama- la analizó más de cerca. Cuando se lanzaron los estándares de eficiencia, la Comisión de Energía de California proyectó que los hogares construidos según esas normas utilizarían un 80% menos de energía -un logro excepcional.

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