Europe Leads The Way In Tackling The Energy Trilemma Of Energy Sustainability

Europe has made the most significant contribution to the transition away from fossil fuels and toward a more sustainable energy mix, according to a new report from the World Energy Council which benchmarks the work of countries in tackling the energy trilemma of energy security, energy equity, and environmental sustainability.

wec-4Launched at the World Energy Congress in Istanbul on Wednesday, the new report from the World Energy Council, the World Energy Trilemma Index 2016, benchmarks the sustainability of national energy systems according to the World Energy Council’s energy sustainability — the energy trilemma of energy security, energy equity, and environmental sustainability. Specifically, the report assessed 125 countries and ranks them according to their energy performance.

“Energy access and climate change have never been so high on the agenda as now, following the COP 21 Paris Agreement, the UN Sustainable Energy Goals, and the attention accorded these issues by the G20,” said Joan MacNaughton, Executive Chair of the World Energy Trilemma report.

“This shift in energy priorities is bringing greater diversity to the global energy mix, helping to underpin security of supply while increasing sustainability. Together with the increase in access to modern energy services — 85% today now compared to 80% in 2000 — this demonstrates how, overall, energy policies are leading to a more sustainable energy world.

“But with only 13 of 125 countries achieving a triple A score for their progress on the Trilemma goals, our work continues to offer valuable lessons for policymakers on how to create the frameworks which will incentivise investment and innovation to deliver secure energy for all while meeting the climate challenge.”

Only 13 of the 125 countries assessed achieved a triple-A score, including Denmark, Switzerland, and Sweden, who lead the index ranking.


Denmark achieved the highest score for energy security, while Luxembourg maintained it position as the most equitable country, while the Philippines is leading the way as the most environmentally sustainable. Regionally, Uruguay ranks the highest in Latin America, Israel outperformed all in the Middle East, Mauritius led in Sub-Saharan Africa, and New Zealand remains at the top in Asia, while also placing 9th globally.

9 out of the top 10 countries are all European, while only 8 of the top 10 achieved a triple-A score. One of the key findings from the report is the way in which an energy system can be developed in concert with policies which work well to balance the trade-offs between the energy trilemma. Specifically, the authors of the report point to Europe as an example of a long-term, balanced energy policy which can contribute to regional success.

“The Trilemma Framework is clearly shaping and influencing government policy, investors’ perspectives and the energy sector around the globe,” said Francois Austin, Global Energy Practice Leader, Oliver Wyman.

“For policy makers, the Index rankings help structure dialogues on the complex trade-offs in developing and implementing energy policy and regulations that will support secure, affordable and environmentally sustainable energy. Investors are increasingly assessing how and where to invest in the energy sector through the issues highlighted in the framework, and for energy business leaders, including IOC, NOCs and utilities, the Index provides insights to inform long-term strategies.”

Joshua S Hill

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