21 October 2013 – 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 gathered in South Korea during October 2013 for the World Energy Congress. The report is the culmination of the findings of a two-year WEC study, “World Energy Trilemma”, conducted with Oliver Wyman, the management consulting firm.

Joan MacNaughton, executive chair of the WEC’s World Energy Trilemma studies, says, “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. Over the last two years our World Energy Trilemma study has identified what governments and energy leaders believe is needed to balance the energy trilemma. These leaders say they are ready to act now, but acknowledge that they need more guidance and support. Our analysis provides the basis for countries to assess their political and institutional risk, and our new ‘Agenda for Change’ report describes how they can mitigate such risk and unlock the investment to deliver the required energy infrastructure.

The WEC’s 10-point agenda for change action plan:

  • 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.

According to the report, dealing with 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.

The report calls for better consultation and coordination between policymakers, industry, consumers and developers to create a sustainable energy framework that has the support of all stakeholders.