World's energy systems far from environmentally sustainable

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World Energy Council and Oliver Wyman

A growing environmentally sustainable energy gap threatens global economic growth and a transition to a more low-carbon future, according to a global ranking of countries' energy sustainability released by the World Energy Council and Oliver Wyman.

“The World Energy Council and Oliver Wyman Energy Sustainability Index” shows that more than 90 countries assessed remain far from achieving fully sustainable energy systems when the supply of environmentally sustainable energy lags significantly behind rapidly rising demand globally.

"We have a real problem here,” said Mark Robson, partner of Oliver Wyman and report author. “We're taking too long to create the environment needed to develop sustainable energy systems. Energy policymakers and the industry urgently need to work together to make the hard decisions necessary to build the infrastructure needed today to support sustainable energy systems which are crucial for future economic growth."

Joan MacNaughton, executive chair of the World Energy Trilemma report, said there is good news, however.

"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," MacNaughton said. 

Report findings include:

  • No country is a world leader in providing secure, affordable and environmentally sound energy.
  • The top 10 performing countries in the energy sustainability index are Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, Norway, Finland, New Zealand, Denmark, Japan, France and Austria, respectively.
  • Encouraging environmentally sound energy remains a universal problem.
  • Providing high-quality, affordable energy access remains a significant challenge for developing and emerging economies.
  • Countries at various stages of development struggle with energy security.

The report makes three recommendations to policymakers to accelerate sustainable energy systems in their countries based on interviews with 40 CEOs and senior energy executives globally: Design coherent energy policies that are regionally coordinated and link together national industrial, environmental and transportation goals; support market conditions that attract long-term investments; and encourage initiatives that foster research and development in all areas of energy technology.

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THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Electric Light & Power

June 2014
Volume 92, Issue 3
1405ELPcvr

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