Renewable Energy – Wind, Tidal, Geothermal, etc.

Global Energy Transition Index, 2020 and its highlights


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Global Energy Transition Index

Mains level : India's transition towards renewable energy

India has moved up two positions to rank 74th on a Global ‘Energy Transition Index (ETI)’ with improvements on all key parameters of economic growth, energy security and environmental sustainability.

Possible prelim question:

Q. The Global Energy Transition Index recently seen in news is released by:

a) International Energy Agency (IEA)

b) World Economic Forum (WEF)

c) International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

d) International Solar Alliance

Energy Transition: What does it mean?

  • Energy transition refers to the global energy sector’s shift from fossil-based systems of energy production and consumption — including oil, natural gas and coal — to renewable energy sources like wind and solar, as well as lithium-ion batteries.
  • The increasing penetration of renewable energy into the energy supply mix, the onset of electrification and improvements in energy storage are all key drivers of the energy transition.

What is the Energy Transition Index (ETI)?

  • The ETI is a fact-based ranking intended to enable policy-makers and businesses to plot the course for a successful energy transition.
  • The benchmarking of energy systems is carried out annually across countries.
  • Part of the World Economic Forum’s Fostering Effective Energy Transition initiative, it builds on its predecessor, the Energy Architecture Performance Index.
  • The ETI is a tool for energy decision-makers that strive to be a comprehensive, global index that tracks the performance of energy systems at the country level.
  • It also incorporates macroeconomic, institutional, social, and geopolitical considerations that provide enabling conditions for an effective energy transition.

Global rankings

  • Results for 2020 show that 75 per cent of countries have improved their environmental sustainability.
  • Sweden has topped the ETI for the third consecutive year and is followed by Switzerland and Finland in the top three.
  • Surprisingly, France (ranked 8th) and the UK (7th) are the only G20 countries in the top ten.
  • The scores for the US (32th), Canada (28th), Brazil (47th) and Australia (36th) were either stagnant or declining.

India’s highlights

  • India is one of the few countries in the world to have made consistent year-on-year progress since 2015.
  • India’s improvements have come across all three dimensions of the energy triangle — economic development and growth, energy access and security, and environmental sustainability.
  • The WEF said that the emerging centres of demand such as India (74th) and China (78th) have made consistent efforts to improve the enabling environment.
  • For India, gains have come from a government-mandated renewable energy expansion programme, now extended to 275 GW by 2027.
  • India has also made significant strides in energy efficiency through bulk procurement of LED bulbs, smart meters, and programs for labelling of appliances.

Threats posed by COVID-19

Beyond the uncertainty over its long‑term consequences, COVID-19 has unleashed cascading effects in real-time:

  • The erosion of almost a third of global energy demand
  • Unprecedented oil price volatilities and subsequent geopolitical implications
  • Delayed or stalled investments and projects
  • Uncertainties over the employment prospects of millions of energy‑sector workers

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