The World Energy Council in its World Energy Trilemma Index 2019, released on Wednesday, has expressed satisfaction on improvement in energy policy performance in nearly 120 out of 129 countries of the world. However, the council has categorically admitted that the targets of the clean energy set up by the United Nations under Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are not achievable by the year 2030.
It's worthwhile to mention that the 'Clean and Affordable Energy' was adopted as SDG 7 (Sustainable Development Goal) by the United Nations in 2015 under the 17 Global Goals (SDGs) for the year 2030.
"The world is very close to achieving universal access to energy. Therefore, the accessibility and affordability of energy would be the only global goal the world will probably achieve by the year 2030. However, the clean energy is still a non-achievable target by the year 2030," said Sir Philip Lowe, Chair of the Trilemma Report and Index, World Energy Council to the Devdiscourse. He further explained, "It's impractical to expect from the countries that are dependent on coal and fuel energy, to implement standards of clean energy in one go. Such a transition from coal to solar energy is impractical. We can expect them to transit from coal and fuel energy to natural gas and then to clean energy."
Adding to his statement Dr. Angela Wilkinson, Senior Director Scenarios and Business Insights, World Energy Council said, "The world will nearly achieve the targets of the clean energy if India and China are able to achieve it. These two are big countries so if they achieve the targets of clean energy, the non-achievement of clean energy targets by the smaller countries would be adjusted." Mr. Francois Austin, Partner and Global Head of Energy, Oliver Wyman and Mr. Martin Young, Director, Policy & Risk also supported the view.
The World Energy Trilemma Index has been prepared annually since 2010 by the World Energy Council in partnership with global consultancy Oliver Wyman, along with Marsh & McLennan Insights of its parent Marsh & McLennan Companies. It is based on three dimensions – energy security, energy equity, and environmental sustainability of the energy system. Balancing these three goals constitutes a 'Trilemma' and balanced systems enable the prosperity and competitiveness of individual countries.
Dr. Angela Wilkinson, Senior Director Scenarios and Business Insights, World Energy Council, said, "For the very first time, the World Energy Trilemma Index provides new insights into energy policy performance over time. Since the turn of the century, there has been a positive trend with nearly 130 countries improving their Trilemma performances. An integrated and coherent policy pathfinding approach is essential in managing robust transitions. Every policymaker can and should use the Index as a unique and useful tool to establish their national baseline and explore how best to improve their energy policy performance."
Mr. Francois Austin, Partner and Global Head of Energy, Oliver Wyman said, "The 2019 Trilemma Index shows that the significantly improved nations are undergoing a faster-paced energy transition by balancing policy, corporate action, national resource usage and changes to individual behaviour with environmental concerns. Looking at these trends in aggregate as well as at the national and regional level can give policymakers and business leaders directions to shape the future of energy."
World Energy Trilemma Index 2019: Highlights
- Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark are the top three rated countries across all three Trilemma dimensions in 2019. These countries have maintained consistent and balanced performance coupled with steady economic and population growth for a number of years.
- Columbia, Myanmar and the Dominican Republic have shown the biggest improvements in the overall Trilemma over the past 20 years, as a result of a focus on electrification, energy generation diversity, and infrastructure investment.
- China and Poland have significantly improved and are rapidly and tangibly decarbonizing, making the greatest change to their 2000 baseline sustainability performance.
- 10 countries achieve the top AAA balance grade, representing top quartile performance in every dimension.
- There has been a general trend of improving energy policy performance since 2000 as nearly 120 countries have been improving their overall Trilemma scores over the 20-year period while only 9 countries have seen their overall performance decline.
- The historic analysis shows that the 'Trilemma' of balancing the differing policy priorities remains relevant with no country having consistently improved in each dimension every year since 2000.
- The rate of improvement in overall performance increases as the transition progresses – globally, performance in all three dimensions are advancing and accelerating.
Launched on the third day of the 24th World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi, the 2019 World Energy Trilemma Index uses global and national data to provide an objective rating of national energy policy and performance. New to this year's report is an analysis of historic trends, which gives policymakers an opportunity to track their policy performance over time.
As comprehensive data and analytical insights are a necessary tool for policymakers to develop a coherent approach to the global energy future. To make these insights widely available, the World Energy Council and Oliver Wyman also launched a new Trilemma interactive online tool featuring countries' energy profiles and Trilemma performance since the year 2000.
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(Siddheshwar Shukla and Neeraj Singh Mehta, Team Devdiscourse from Abu Dhabi)