India climbed two positions to rank 74 on a global “energy transition index” with improvements in all key parameters of economic growth, energy security and environmental sustainability. In its report, the WEF said its study measuring readiness for the transition to clean energy in 115 economies showed that 94 have made progress since 2015, but environmental sustainability still lags behind.
- Sweden has passed the Energy Transition Index (ETI) for the third consecutive year, followed by Switzerland and Finland in the top three.
- France (in eighth place) and the United Kingdom (in seventh place) are the only G20 countries in the top ten.
- “Emerging demand centers” such as India (74) and China (78) have made constant efforts to improve the enabling environment, which refers to political commitments, participation and consumer investment, innovation and infrastructure, among others.
- In the case of China, air pollution problems have resulted in policies to control emissions, electrify vehicles, and develop the world’s largest capacity for onshore and photovoltaic (PV) wind turbines.
- For India, result comes out from a government-mandated renewable energy expansion program, which will now expand to 275 GW by 2027. India has also made significant progress in energy efficiency through Bulk purchase of LED bulbs, smart meters and labeling programs for household appliances. Similar measures are underway to reduce the costs of electric vehicles,
The WEF said the coronavirus pandemic is at risk of reversing recent progress in the clean energy transition, with unprecedented declines in demand, price volatility and pressure to quickly ease socioeconomic costs, questioning the trajectory short-term transition. Policies, roadmaps and governance frameworks for energy transition at national, regional and global levels need to be more robust and resilient against external shocks,
Covid-19 has forced companies from all sectors to adapt to business disruption, changing demand and new ways of working, and governments have introduced economic stimulus packages to help mitigate these effects. If implemented with long-term strategies in mind, they could also accelerate the transition to clean energy, helping countries to step up their efforts towards sustainable and inclusive energy systems.
Global findings of this report
- The index compares 115 economies in the current performance of their energy systems in the areas of economic development and growth, environmental sustainability and energy security and access indicators, and their readiness for the transition to safe, sustainable, affordable and inclusive energy systems.
- The results for 2020 show that 75 per cent of countries have improved their environmental sustainability. This progress is a result of multifaceted, incremental approaches, including pricing carbon, retiring coal plants ahead of schedule and redesigning electricity markets to integrate renewable energy sources.
- The most significant overall progress is observed in emerging economies, with the average ETI score for the top 10% countries which has remained constant since 2015, indicating an urgent need for innovative solutions, threatened by COVID-19.
- The report indicates that the scores for the United States (32), Canada (28), Brazil (47) and Australia (36) were stagnant or declining. In the United States, headwinds have been linked primarily to the political environment, while in Canada and Australia, the challenges lie in balancing the energy transition and economic growth, given the role of the energy sector in their economy.
- The fact that only 11 out of 115 countries have constantly improved the ETI scores since 2015 shows the complexity of the energy transition. Argentina, China, India and Italy are among the main countries with constant annual improvements. Others, such as Bangladesh, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Kenya and Oman have also made significant progress over time.
- On the other hand, scores for Canada, Chile, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nigeria and Turkey have declined since 2015. The US ranks outside the top 25 per cent for the first time, primarily due to the uncertain regulatory outlook for energy transition.