The World Energy Council (WEC) has issued a 10-point action plan for how governments, industry, and key decision-makers should refocus their efforts and resources to achieve real progress in resolving the energy trilemma.
The report, “World Energy Trilemma: Time to get real – the agenda for change”, was launched as the world’s energy leaders gather in South Korea for the World Energy Congress. It provides a detailed guide to creating a global policy framework that addresses the energy trilemma: energy security, energy equity, and environmental sustainability.
The WEC’s 10-point Agenda for Change action plan includes:
• Action 1: Connect the energy trilemma to the broader national agenda
• Action 2: Provide leadership to build consensus – nationally and globally
• Action 3: Improve policymaker dialogue
• Action 4: Increase engagement with the financial community
• Action 5: Minimise policy and regulatory risk and ensure optimal risk allocation
• Action 6: Adopt market-based approaches to carbon pricing to drive investments
• Action 7: Design transparent, flexible and dynamic pricing frameworks
• Action 8: Drive (green) trade liberalisation
• Action 9: Meet the need for more research, development & demonstration (RD&D)
• Action 10: Encourage joint pre-commercial industry initiatives, including early large-scale demonstration and deployment.
Joan MacNaughton, Executive Chair of the WEC’s World Energy Trilemma studies, said: “Governments face a daunting challenge to deliver secure, affordable and environmentally sustainable energy services. How well they meet it has a fundamental bearing on the social and economic prospects of their countries. These leaders say they are ready to act now, but acknowledge that they need more guidance and support."
According to the report, addressing strong demand growth, widening access to the 1.2 billion people currently not served by energy grids, and balancing the upgrade of ageing infrastructure with environmentally progressive systems requires investment and coordination on an unprecedented scale. However, the impact of shale gas discoveries in more than 40 countries, cost breakthroughs in certain renewable technologies, and increasing the efficiency of transport, construction and household energy use could enable communities to live and work within a widely more sustainable energy landscape.
Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC, commented at the launch of the report at the World Energy Congress: “The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change clearly sounded the alarm that greenhouse gas emissions will cause tremendous and irreversible harm to the economies of the world if not quickly curbed. The good news is that the money, technology and policy tools to shift the current emissions trajectory and steer humanity out of the danger zone are available. The Trilemma report demonstrates that a sustainable energy future is possible if all of these tools are deployed quickly and at scale. It also shows a strong willingness to act by the energy sector. I recommend that governments look closely at the report and act on its conclusions, which will strengthen the outcome of the 2015 global climate agreement and raise immediate ambition to curb greenhouse gases.”