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energy efciency projects as “fund parasites”
that threaten their core business. By means of the OGE&EE (Optmización Generación Eléctrica & Efciencia
Energétca) Program “Ecuador is transitoning its oil industry to a low carbon
Most energy efciency programs therefore are footprint through energy efciency” thereby creatng a “win – win” scenario
either driven by regulatons, consumer pressure for all stakeholders. This program requires a 1.2 billon US $ investment (of
(public opinion) or need some (external)
incentve to transiton from “conference talk” to which US $ 600,000,000 has already been investment) consistng of a cluster
boots on the ground. The excepton being when of 120 projects (power generaton, power distributon and transmission, gas
energy efciency is detrimental to the survival gathering and transportaton, improvements, research and development, etc.)
of the company; such as is the case in the in an area covering 25,000 km , 17 oil blocks, 56 oil felds and 66 facilites.
manufacturing industry.
Why is energy efciency a fact of life in the Despite the fact that the OGE&EE Program generates tremendous benefts to
airline industry, “downstream” oil industry the country and the global environment (potental to reduce up to 800,000
(mainly refneries), utlity companies, and car tons of CO2 per year) it was not an easy sell. To develop a project cluster at
industry but not in the “upstream” oil industry? this scale it is necessary to breakdown “old habits” and corporate cultures and
The answer lies, amongst other arguments, in translates the concept (OGE&EE) into industry language.
the following line of thinking:
• The “upstream” oil industry is not subject to
a compettve environment; each drop of oil
eventually will fnd its way to the market (at difcult to meet the “critcal mass” (economy independent third party
whatever price dictated by the market). of scale) hurdle. auditng procedures and
reportng, consumer opinion
• there is no “green oil” for which a customer • Investors ofen look for short term returns; / percepton is mainly driven
is willing to pay a premium or “black oil” for not lastng positve impacts (even afer it has by marketng eforts of the
which there is no market. served its inital main purpose). industry (“whatever you say
• Anything “upstream” in the oil industry is The narrow and short term thinking has resulted goes” unless some specifc
usually developed on an individual and local in oil companies faring millions of standard incident goes viral through the
scale; not conceptualized on having a “lastng cubic feet of associated gas on a world wide social media).
impact” and contributng to the prosperous scale (gas which is freed when oil is extracted For some the environmental
development of a mayor region (beyond the from its reservoirs). to a great degree this is benefts of optmizing
border of an oil feld(s)). the result of a lack of (outside) awareness associated gas (not faring it) in
due to the fact that oil companies register
• There is a lack of a “project clustering” and report producton, not “waste” (energy and of itself is a good enough
approach (transiton from a “project” to a efciency opportunites). Due to a lack of selling point. Nonetheless,
“program” approach) thereby ofen making it in a world where thousands

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