Global Tracking Framework 2017: Progress Towards Sustainable Energy (External Content)
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Energy has been described as “the golden thread” connecting economic growth, social equity, and environmental sustainability. With this in mind, the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 embraced the Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) objectives for 2030, aiming to achieve universal access to modern energy, double the historic rate of improvement of energy efficiency, and double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. In 2015, Sustainable Development Goal 7 was adopted for 2030, to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all,” building further on the three SEforALL objectives. Later in 2015, at the historic Paris Climate Conference (COP21), countries from around the world committed to Nationally Determined Contributions, many calling for progress on the sustainable energy agenda. Preparation of this third edition of the SEforALL Global Tracking Framework has again been co-led by the World Bank/Energy Sector Management Assistance Program and the International Energy Agency (IEA), with valuable inputs from more than 20 organizations around the world — some longstanding partners and some joining for the first time. As in previous editions, this SEforALL Global Tracking Framework aims to provide the international community with a global dashboard to register progress on the three pillars of sustainable energy: energy access, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. This edition covers progress in 2012–14, collating and harmonizing official national data and providing regional and global analysis. The findings clearly portray that the pace of progress on sustainable energy during 2012–14 fell short of what is needed to meet the global objectives by 2030. Of the three pillars of SEforALL, energy efficiency is advancing at the closest to the pace of change required to meet the 2030 objective. Global electrification reached 85.3% in 2014, a modest improvement since 2012 and a slowdown from preceding years (figure 1). Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking — here “clean cooking” — reached 57.4% globally in 2014, with barely any increase since 2012 (figure 2). Progress in reducing the energy intensity1 of the global economy continued to accelerate, improving by a 2.1% compound average annual growth rate in 2012–14, compared with a SEforALL objective of –2.6%, and bringing global energy intensity to 5.5 MJ/2011 PPP $ (megajoules per 2011 purchasing power parity dollar) (figure 3). In 2014, the share of renewable energy in total final energy consumption climbed to 18.3%, continuing the slight acceleration of trends evident since 2010 (figure 4). Even so, progress is nowhere near fast enough to double its share to 36% in 2010– 30 as envisaged by the SEforALL objective. Results of recent global energy modeling, by the IEA and others, confirm the view that current efforts will not reach the targets set by the international community for 2030, even after taking into account new policy commitments made under COP21 and favorable technology trends like the steep reduction in the costs of solar PV (photovoltaic). The IEA’s New Policies Scenario, reflecting the latest policy pledges, estimates that by 2030 access rates will stand at 91% for electricity (figure 1) and 72% for clean cooking (figure 2). Improvements in energy intensity will fall short of the 2030 objective, and the share of renewable energy in total final energy consumption will reach 21% (figure 4). This coincides with recent country work by International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which finds that without substantially exceeding current commitments, the world is likely to reach a renewable energy share of just 21% by 2030. Looking at each of the dimensions of sustainable energy more closely helps in understanding why the world is not yet on track to meet its goals and what kinds of targeted efforts in which places offer the best prospects for accelerating global progress in coming years.

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