Policy and commitment necessary for success in the energy transition according to 2020 World Energy Trilemma Index

The World Energy Council in partnership with Oliver Wyman has unveiled the latest progress for almost 130 countries on policy development and actual performance related to Energy Security, Equity and Environmental Sustainability.

The 2020 World Energy Trilemma Index, created by the World Energy Council in partnership with global consultancy Oliver Wyman, a business of Marsh & McLennan Companies, provides an objective rating of national energy policy and performance across three dimensions: Energy Security, Energy Equity and the Environmental Sustainability of Energy Systems.

Launched today during the digital World Energy Week event, the World Energy Trilemma Index provides a ranking of almost 130 countries’ energy performance using global and national data. The Index analyses historic trends to enable energy policy makers and stakeholders to track their policy performance over time and comparing with others to explore how to improve.

Key highlights:

  • Eight countries achieved the top AAA balance grade, representing top quartile performance in every dimension.
  • Improvement in Sustainability and Security go hand in hand. Sustained investments in wind and solar mean countries with the highest overall scores, such as Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark, have simultaneously reduced emissions while diversifying their energy systems.
  • Of the three dimensions, Equity has seen the greatest improvements since 2000, driven by policy-led efforts to increase access to energy in developing countries. The three countries with the highest improvement in the overall Trilemma score are Cambodia, Myanmar and Kenya primarily as a result of their performance on Energy Equity.
  • The highest scoring countries on Security have diversified energy systems and benefit from significant natural resource endowments. The three strongest performers – Canada, Finland and Romania – have large hydropower resources and are diversifying their energy mix through investment in solar and wind.
  • The rate of improvement in overall Trilemma performance generally increases as the transition progresses – typically, performance in all three dimensions are advancing and accelerating.

Dr Angela Wilkinson, Secretary General, World Energy Council: “This has been a turbulent year for societies and economies. Tools such as the well-respected World Energy Trilemma Index are more important than ever as countries, companies and customers start to recover. The index enables individual countries and diverse regions to learn from each other about what’s working and what’s not in joining-the dots between people, planet and prosperity by managing the connected challenges of energy security, energy affordability and equity and environmental sustainability.”

Francois Austin, Partner and Global Head of Energy, Oliver Wyman: “The 2020 Trilemma Index shows that the significantly improved nations are undergoing a faster-paced energy transition. While the impact of COVID likely won’t be seen until next year at the earliest, one thing is for sure – top-performing nations achieve their energy goals by balancing policy, corporate action, national resource usage, and changes to individual behavior with environmental concerns. These trends in aggregate as well as at the national and regional levels can give policymakers and business leaders direction to shape energy’s future.”

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 the Trilemma interactive online tool featuring countries’ energy profiles and Trilemma performance since the year 2000.

The Trilemma Index and interactive online tool feature a variety of findings about the state of energy around the world.

  • Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark are the top three rated countries across all three Trilemma dimensions in 2020. These countries have maintained consistent and balanced performance coupled with steady economic and population growth for a number of years.
  • Cambodia, Myanmar and Kenya have shown the biggest improvements in the overall Trilemma over the past 20 years, as a result of a focus on energy access, electrification, energy generation diversity, and infrastructure investment.
  • The top Environmental Sustainability performers in 2020 are Switzerland, Sweden, and Norway with their longstanding attention to the sustainability of their energy policies. Since 2000, Azerbaijan and Ukraine have significantly improved their Sustainability performance by decarbonizing their energy systems.
  • The rate of improvement in overall Trilemma performance also appears to be increasing – half of the countries have consistently improved overall scores since 2015, while fewer than 20 countries consistently improved scores since 2000.

Source: World Energy Council