Saturday 27 November 2021

The 11th annual World Energy Trilemma Index

Over 700m people ‘still lack access to electricity or clean fuels’

LONDON, October 7, 2021

More than 700 million people on the planet still lack basic access to any electricity or clean fuels, according to the 11th annual World Energy Trilemma Index published by the World Energy Council.
The Index represents the world’s most comprehensive independent ranking of countries’ sustainable energy policies and evaluates how well 127 countries balance the three connected challenges for a clean and just energy future: energy security, energy equity and environmental sustainability of energy systems, also known as the “Energy Trilemma”.
Dr Angela Wilkinson, Secretary General of the World Energy Council, commented: “The World Energy Trilemma Index provides a useful reminder of how important it is for policymakers to address inertia and make progress by taking a more holistic view of energy through the three lenses of the World Energy Trilemma. Only then will societies succeed in recovering from crisis, repairing the planet and renewing the wellbeing of societies.”
“Today’s energy landscape is crowded, competitive and increasingly costly. Confusion, confrontation and extreme polarisation have become commonplace. The world needs more sustainable energy. Our relationship with energy and, consequently, with each other, is shifting and transforming. There is an urgent need to better prepare societies for clean and just energy transitions and to involve more people and diverse communities in the process. The challenge to develop shared appreciation and navigate the critical role of energy in everyday life has never been greater.”
“Energy literacy remains poor across many stakeholder groups. There is a general lack of appreciation and understanding of the connections – between climate neutrality, affordability and social justice and in relating matters of price, cost and value.“
Stalled global progress in energy security poses potential supply risks to nations, the Index noted. Overall progress in Energy Equity exposes global inequality in accessing energy and may fall short of achieving SDG 7 goal of affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy by 2030.
Worldwide renewable capacity has grown with renewables now accounting for over 80% of new capacity additions. However, global carbon dioxide emissions have continued to rise.
European countries dominate the rankings in managing competing energy Trilemma demands of energy security, energy equity and environmental sustainability. 
Among top improvers this year are Asian, African and Central American countries -- Cambodia, Myanmar, Dominican Republic, Kenya, Ethiopia, Honduras, Thailand, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, China.
A notable addition to the top ten list of overall improvers in the World Energy Trilemma this year was China.
By analysing historic trends, the Index enables policymakers and stakeholders to track national policy performance over time and cross reference performance and progress with other nations.
This year’s global assessment indicates a mixed picture. As the current global gas crunch puts pressure on supplies, the stalled progress in Energy Security, with a static score of 85 out of 100, provides a timely context to the foundations for regional supply shortages and market volatility.
The Index also shows that the score in Energy Equity is 75 out of 100, with more than 700 million people on the planet still lacking basic access to any electricity or clean fuels. Referring to both energy access and affordability, the Energy Equity pillar highlights that whilst many countries may enjoy universal access to energy, notably OECD countries, many people do not have access to energy whatsoever. Energy affordability is not solely an issue for developing countries and energy poverty extends to all geographies, including the most developed nations.
Environmental Sustainability also demonstrates slow progress, with an overall score of 66/100. This is despite 50% plus growth in worldwide renewable capacity with renewables now accounting for over 80% of new capacity additions. However, global carbon dioxide emissions have continued to rise. 
As the world recovers from the impacts of Covid-19 and looks to restart economic and industrial activity, it remains to be seen how significant COP26 will prove in bucking this trend and accelerating decarbonisation of the global energy mix.
The 2021 edition of the Index shows that OECD countries, particularly in Europe, with longstanding and active energy policies, continue to dominate the top 10 overall rankings. A new record 9 countries have received the top AAA balance grade, representing top quartile performance in every dimension.
As host of the next UN Climate Conference, the UK ranks 4th in in terms of overall performance in the Index. The UK’s absence from the global top ten in the energy security category helps explain its exposure to the current global gas crunch and skyrocketing energy prices.-- TradeArabia News Service


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