Context: Global ‘Energy Transition Index’,2020 was released by the World Economic Forum recently.

Key findings related to India

  • India has moved up two positions to rank 74th on a global ‘Energy Transition Index’,2020
  • India has made improvements on all key parameters of economic growth, energy security, and environmental sustainability.
  • It is one of the few countries in the world to have made consistent year-on-year progress since 2015.

The improvements have become possible due to factors such as

  • Political commitments, consumer engagement and investment, innovation and infrastructure improvements.
  • The initiatives of the Indian government
    • Government-mandated renewable energy expansion program, 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 the labeling of appliances. 
    • Measures are also being experimented to drive down the costs of electric vehicles.

Findings at the Global level

  • Sweden has topped the Energy Transition Index (ETI) for the third consecutive year and is followed by Switzerland and Finland in the top three.
  • France (ranked 8th) and the UK (7th) are the only G20 countries in the top ten.
  • The current study in 115 economies showed that 94 have made progress since 2015, but environmental sustainability continues to lag.
    • This progress is a result of multifaceted, incremental approaches, including pricing carbon, retiring coal plants ahead of schedule, and redesigning electricity markets to integrate renewable energy sources.
  • The greatest overall progress is observed among emerging economies, with the average ETI score for countries in the top 10 percent remaining constant since 2015.
  • Argentina, China, India, and Italy are among the major countries with consistent annual improvements since 2015. 
  • China, ranked 78th, has made strong advances in controlling CO2 emissions by switching to electric vehicles and investing heavily in solar and wind energy - it currently has the world’s largest solar PV and onshore wind capacity
  • However scores for Canada, Chile, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Turkey have declined since 2015.
  • The report said the scores for the US (32th), Canada (28th), Brazil (47th), and Australia (36th) were either stagnant or declining.
    • The US ranks outside the top 25 percent for the first time, primarily due to the uncertain regulatory outlook for energy transition.

Disruptions due to COVID-19 

  • Covid-19 has forced companies across industries to adapt to operational disruption, changes in demand, and new ways of working. Many governments have also introduced economic recovery packages to help mitigate these effects.
  • COVID-19 also risks canceling out recent progress in transitioning to clean energy, with 
    • Unprecedented falls in demand, 
    • Price volatility and 
    • Pressure to quickly mitigate socioeconomic costs of COVID-19

Way ahead

  • Policies, roadmaps and governance frameworks for energy transition at national, regional, and global levels need to be more robust and resilient against external shocks.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic offers an opportunity to consider unorthodox intervention in the energy markets and global collaboration to support a recovery that accelerates the energy transition once the acute crisis subsides.

About Global Energy index

  • The Energy Transition Index (ETI) is a fact-based ranking intended to enable policy-makers and businesses to plot the course for a successful energy transition.
  • The Energy Transition Index, a composite score of 40 indicators, benchmarks 115 countries on the 
    • Current performance of their energy system and
    • Their readiness for transition to a secure, sustainable, affordable, and inclusive future energy system.


About WEF

  • The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.
  • The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
  • It was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation.
  • It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.