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Tracking progress towards achieving Sustainable Energy for All

The World Bank and the International Energy Agency launched the 2017 Global Tracking Framework (GTF) report in New York on 3 April during the SE4All Forum. The GTF report is intended to measure success in achieving the objectives of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative. The biannual report collects country-level data on renewable energy uptake, energy efficiency improvements and electricity access rates to review achievements made towards the SE4All targets. This year’s report features contributions from the five UN Regional Commissions, exploring the issues and challenges faced in the respective regions.

The 2017 GTF report is the first one in the series that incorporates in-depth regional analysis for Africa, the Arab Region, Asia & the Pacific, Europe, North America & Central Asia, and Latin America & the Caribbean. During the panel discussion for the launch, representatives of the five Regional Commissions highlighted the key regional outcomes and raised important data gaps and limitations. The Regional Commissions explored the need to look beyond the current set of indicators and the importance of working with countries in interpreting data and telling the right stories on sustainable energy progress.

The UNECE regional profile (Europe, North America & Central Asia) highlighted the need to look beyond the reported universal physical access to electricity networks to analyse trends in energy affordability and quality of service across the region. Although the UNECE region is the only region that has a positive trend in the share of renewable energy in total energy consumption, other data suggest that investments in renewable energy are a critical concern in the Eastern reaches of the region.

Overall, the 2017 GTF report paints an alarming picture as current progress falls well short of achieving targets by 2030. In 2014, 1.06 billion people lived without access to electricity networks, mainly in Africa and the Asia Pacific region. Energy intensity levels are decreasing slowly, however the residential sector became more energy intense during the tracking period 2012-2014. Reaching the 2030 objective will require an increase in investments in energy efficiency by a factor of 3 to 6 from the current level of $250 billion a year. Renewable energy uptake is insufficient to reach the 2030 goal despite reduced costs and technology advances.

Stronger efforts and closer cooperation between all stakeholders are required to accelerate the transformation of the energy sector in order to achieve the SE4All initiative, and more broadly for energy to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The detailed GTF report with regional and country data and analysis is accessible online: gtf.esmap.org/