The World Energy Council’s (WEC) global ranking of country energy sustainability performance has revealed that most of the over 90 countries assessed are still far from achieving fully sustainable energy systems.
The 2012 Energy Sustainability Index, published within the WEC’s 2012 World Energy Trilemma report, ‘Time to get real – the case for sustainable energy policy’, finds that most countries still have not managed to balance the energy trilemma. The WEC argues that countries must balance the trade-offs between the three challenges of the trilemma – energy security, social equity, and environmental impact mitigation, if they are to provide sustainable energy systems.
The Index reveals that:
* Environmental impact mitigation remains a universal problem;
* Providing high-quality and affordable energy access remains a significant challenge for developing and emerging economies; and
* Countries at various stages of development struggle with energy security.
Joan MacNaughton, Executive Chair of the World Energy Trilemma report, says:“Much still needs to be done to make our energy systems sustainable, but there is good news. As our Energy Sustainability Index shows, countries that use a larger share of low-carbon energy such as renewables and nuclear as part of a diversified energy mix tend to perform better. While these top performers also tend to be richer countries, some less affluent ones do also outperform their economic peers. What distinguishes all these countries from the others is that they have more effective and coherent policies.”
The top 10 performing countries in the WEC index are Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, Norway, Finland, New Zealand, Denmark, Japan, France and Austria, respectively. However, even top performers face challenges, and as countries pass through the stages of development they struggle in specific areas.
For the first time this year, the Energy Sustainability Index comes with a set of country and regional performance profiles. Now in its third annual edition, the Index captures and aggregates country-level data to outline the relative energy performances and contextual attributes of the WEC’s member countries.