Global Energy Sustainability is on the Rise, However Questions Remain

Delegates at the 24th World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi, UAE, have been told that  world’s economies are making strides to better deliver policies for energy security, equity and environmental sustainability.

The 2019 World Energy Trilemma Index, created by the World Energy Council, in partnership with global consultancy Oliver Wyman, part of Marsh & McLennan includes an objective rating of national energy policy and performance across three dimensions: energy security, energy equity and the environmental sustainability of energy systems.

It also ranks countries’ energy performance using global and national data.

The report found 10 countries achieve the top AAA balance grade, representing top quartile performance in every dimension.

There has also been a general trend of improving energy policy performance. Since 2000 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.

However there remain concerns. 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.

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 policy maker can and should use the Index as an unique and useful tool to establish their national baseline and explore how best to improve their energy policy performance.”

Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark are the top three rated countries across all three Trilemma dimensions in 2019. Cambodia, Myanmar and the Dominican Republic showed 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.

While the top Environmental Sustainability performers in 2019 are also Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark, counterintuitively China and Poland have significantly improved and are rapidly and tangibly decarbonizing, making the greatest change to their 2000 baseline Sustainability performance.

Francois Austin, Partner and Global Head of Energy, at Oliver Wyman added:  “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 direction to shape the future of energy.”