IEA Releases Reports on G20 Energy Transition Progress
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The first report focuses on the performance of G20 members regarding energy access, efficiency, and transitioning towards cleaner, more flexible and transparent energy systems.

The second report addresses the importance of comprehensive energy data for countries aiming to create the best policy and investment decisions on energy.

According to IEA, both reports reaffirm that many countries look to G20 members for leadership and highlight their roles in energy transitioning and energy data collection.

25 September 2018: The International Energy Agency (IEA) and Argentina’s Ministry of Energy and Mines released two technical reports focusing on progress and challenges of energy transitions for G20 countries. The publications address climate change mitigation through energy transitioning, and the role of high quality data collection for policy.

Supporting Energy Transitions

The report titled, ‘Energy Transitions in G20 Countries: Energy transitions towards cleaner, more flexible and transparent systems,’ tracks progress of G20 members on energy access, efficiency, and transitioning. It also measures progress regarding systematic flexibility and integration of variable energy sources. Furthermore, the study analyzes fossil fuel subsidy reforms, investments relating to energy efficiency, and the development of clean energy technologies. These indicators will contribute to an updated assessment of sustainable development trends for G20 countries.

The report is organized into four sections: G20 energy transition trends, cleaner energy systems across G20 countries, towards flexibility in energy systems and transparent markets, and the role of G20 in fostering energy transitions. It shows that G20 countries are leaders in energy transition and that their governments are fostering sustainable economic development and a cleaner energy future. It notes, however, that G20 countries share diversity in economies, national resources, GDP growth, per-capita energy use, and emissions, requiring diverse approaches towards leading clean energy transitions.

In 2016 only 9% of global heat was covered by modern renewables and only 3% of transport energy demand was met by biofuels in G20 countries.

Relating to cleaner energy, many G20 economies have been leading the renewable energy sector with wind and solar technology. Meanwhile, the heat and transport sectors still require improvements. The report finds that in 2016 only, “9% of global heat was covered by modern renewables, while 3% of transport energy demand was met by biofuels.” Supporting policies from governments and renewable and competition in energy technology are the most important drivers for promoting cleaner energy.

On increasing the flexibility of energy systems, the report asserts the need to maintain energy security and respond to regional market integration. Natural gas also has a role to play as countries that have decided to phase-out coal may need gas-fired power generation to maintain flexibility. Finally, transparency is fundamental for consensus building on energy transitions for society and stakeholders at large, the report states. It concludes that the G20 can foster energy transitions by, among other actions, stimulating innovative financing, supporting investment from private and public sectors, and closing energy data gaps with a view to triple the share of modern renewable electricity.

Data for Energy Transitions

The second report titled, ‘Energy Transitions in G20 countries: Energy data transparency and market digitization,’ addresses the importance of comprehensive energy data for countries aiming to create the best policy and investment decisions on energy. Developed in collaboration between IEA, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), International Energy Forum (IEF), and the Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE), the publication shows how energy statistics can be enhanced through collaboration, transparency, innovation, capacity building, and adopting the benefits of digitalization. The report looks at challenges, opportunities, co-operation, and training and capacity building. It also discusses challenges in energy data and coverage, end-use data and energy efficiency, off-grid electricity, and tracking the energy transition in real time.

The report also reviews opportunities in energy data transparency, open data, and digitalisation. This section of the report uses the joint organization’s data initiative (JODI) as a case study to display that progress is feasible. Receiving strong political support since its inception allowed JODI to expand not only from oil to gas but to include more than 100 countries. The members can use their uploaded data to enhance transparency across government, industrial, organizational, and national boundaries. As comprehensive energy data is needed for effective decision making, JODI serves as an example for G20 countries for the need to pursue the creation of a transparent energy database to make progress with their objectives.

Co-operation and training and capacity building are key for high quality data collection from many parts of the world. The report informs that international organizations possess a key role in ensuring the data they collect is globally comparable. Furthermore, improved skills and knowledge are required for collecting, compiling and disseminating data on energy.

According to IEA’s press release, both reports reaffirm that many countries look to G20 members for leadership and highlight their roles in energy transitioning and energy data collection. G20 countries are called upon to improve their performance with regard to renewables while also prioritizing energy efficiency to reduce emissions. [IEA Press Release] [Publication: Energy Transitions in G20 Countries-energy transitions towards cleaner, more flexible and transparent systems] [Publication: Energy Transitions in G20 Countries- Energy Data Transparency and Market Digitalization]

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