A platform for effective energy transition
Energy is a key element of the modern economy. The availability of secure and reliable energy supply is essential for industrial processes and the provision of public services such as lighting, heating, cooking, information and communications technology, and mobility. The energy system is undergoing unprecedented change. The geopolitical landscape of energy is quickly shifting and environmental concerns have shaken the system’s foundations. At the same time, the economics of competing energy sources have changed, and the advent of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies have enabled new business models and made others obsolete. The latter has created significant uncertainty about the pace and destination of the transformation, making a strong case for a systemic, multistakeholder approach that increases transparency on the enablers and reforms needed for countries to achieve an effective energy transition.
The diverse challenges facing the energy system today cannot be addressed by a single government, industry, company or other institution alone. A broader variety of expertise, convictions and resources are required for effective action. Moreover, relevant actors and initiatives must be organized to understand and prepare to successfully leverage the underlying transformational forces and direction of energy transition.
To progress in energy transition, the world requires a collaborative platform that fosters a systemic approach to solving problems and capturing opportunities. As the international organization for public-private collaboration, the World Economic Forum is applying its organizational capacity – its top decision-maker-level multistakeholder communities, convening and facilitation capabilities, knowledge resources and interaction technology – to this purpose.
The System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Energy of the World Economic Forum is creating a platform to foster a common understanding of four aspects of energy transition: 1) destination; 2) imperatives; 3) enablers; and 4) human impact. Through this understanding, the aim is to support the design and accelerate the development of effective policies, corporate actions and public-private collaboration for an inclusive, affordable, sustainable and secure energy future essential for economic and social development.
Previous efforts of the System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Energy explored emerging macro trends in the energy system and their implications for different stakeholders (Game Changers in the Energy System1) and the creation of a global index to benchmark country-level energy system performance (Energy Architecture Performance Index2). The project, Fostering Effective Energy Transition, builds on the insights from these undertakings and adds a forward-looking framework to transform the global dialogue on energy transition. The Forum considers this project as the starting point of a multi-year effort with the aspiration to:
- Establish an insight-rich framework and fact base to foster an understanding of both systemic and country-level readiness for effective energy transition that incentivizes leaders to accelerate energy transition within their respective countries and globally
- Convene all relevant stakeholders to foster a common and inclusive understanding on national energy transition priorities, which will provide long-term value to society and businesses
- Curate and facilitate an inclusive platform for public-private collaboration to catalyse the creation of predictable yet flexible long-term policy roadmaps
- Highlight good practices from global peers and the Forum’s expert community to accelerate local energy transition efforts and to enable public-private sector collaboration
The key to effective decision-making on energy transition
Leaders in the energy system have highlighted the need for:
- An effective and inclusive platform for action-oriented dialogue
- A fact-based framework that supports an unbiased approach to energy transition
Over the course of the last year, the Fostering Effective Energy Transition project contributed to these two requirements by:
- A multilevel dialogue series, addressing energy transition at the global, regional and national levels:
This series created a better understanding of countries’ transition imperatives and challenges. It initiated a network of actors to enable concrete action within selected regions and countries. Ultimately, these interactions with approximately 200 key stakeholders of energy systems across the world aim to create local platforms to facilitate country-specific transition visions and to support the creation of predictable yet flexible long-term policy roadmaps – an element critical for effective energy transition.
- The Energy Transition Index (ETI), linking the performance of countries’ energy systems today with their readiness for the future. This new index highlights countries’ comparative strengths and improvement areas and allows private stakeholders to compare countries’ relative system performance and transition readiness to identify opportunities and threats to their business.