Top 10 Countries Leading Energy Transition based on the Energy Transition Index in 2020

Top 10 Countries Leading Energy Transition based on the Energy Transition Index in 2020

A fact-based ranking system, the Energy Transition Index (ETI), helps businesses and policymakers understand which countries are on track for energy transition success  [1]. The ETI is a composite score of 40 indicators, sourced from reliable international data providers to ensure comparability across countries and consistency over time. To evaluate the index of energy transition of each country, indicators such as the energy system structure, investment, regulation, governance, infrastructure, and human capital have been taken into account. According to Roberto Bocca’s statement, a member of the Executive Committee in the World Economic Forum (WEF), the ETI does not only benchmark countries on their current energy system performance, but also provides a forward‑looking lens as it measures their readiness for the energy transition [2].

ETI builds upon the Energy Architecture Performance Index (EAPI), establishing fact-based insights to support decision-makers in their pursuit of a secure, sustainable, affordable, and inclusive future energy system. In the 2020 Edition of Fostering Effective Energy Transition which was released by WEF, the study benchmarks the ETI of 115 countries across the globe [1,2].

Sweden, Switzerland, and Finland are the leading countries in energy transition [2,3]. The top 10 countries which were pioneers in the energy transition in 2020 are coming in the following 

  1. Sweden, ETI score: 74.2%
  2. Switzerland, ETI score: 73.4%
  3. Finland, ETI score: 72.4%
  4. Denmark, ETI score: 72.2%
  5. Norway, ETI score: 72.2% 
  6. Austria, ETI score: 70.5% 
  7. U.K, ETI score: 69.9% 
  8. France, ETI score: 68.7% 
  9. Netherlands, ETI score: 68.0% 
  10. Iceland, ETI score: 67.3% .

There has been little change in the ranking of the top countries over the past decade. Denmark, Finland and the United Kingdom, the highest improvers in the top 10 positions, were able to improve their energy system performance and sustainability outcomes thanks to a stable regulatory environment, diversified energy mix and cost-reflective energy pricing [3]. Of the 115 countries monitored, 94 countries have improved their composite ETI score over the past six years. These nations represent more than 70% of the global population and 70% of global CO2 emissions from fuel combustion [2].

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The world’s largest energy consumers differ in their energy transition trajectories. Emerging demand countries like India and China show strong and steady improvement, while ETI scores for Brazil, Canada, Iran and the United States are either stagnant or declining. It is crucial to note that countries need to significantly raise their level of commitment towards environmental sustainability, leveraging diverse policies, technologies and financing options in order to promote their ETI scores.

It is crucial to note that some of the top 10 countries have fed more than half of their energy mix from one resource, like Norway and France. This will be the main hurdle for bringing more flexibility and resilience to the energy system structure as one of the indicators of energy transition in countries.

Energy in France is generated from five primary sources: coal, natural gas, liquid fuels, nuclear power, and renewables [4]. However, nuclear power has made up the largest portion of electricity generation in the country with its environmental concerns. Phasing out these nuclear power plants and substituting their capacity with renewables will be the main challenges for France to promote its ETI score in the near future. In the case of Norway, the story is at least better than France. In this country, electricity generation is seriously built upon hydropower electricity generation. 95% of the power production in Norway stems from the 1600 hydropower plants which are spread all across the country [5]. Good access to water in the reservoirs makes this renewable type power generation pioneer in the country.

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Author: Hesam-Edin Hayati Soloot & Amir Hayati Soloot


[1] The Revolution of Energy Storage (TROES), “Top 10 Countries Leading The Energy Transition Index of 2020”.

[2] Fostering Effective Energy Transition, 2020 Edition.

[3] Smart Energy International, “The countries leading the energy transition”, written by Jonathan Spencer Jones.

[4] IEA, Key Energy Statistics, 2020, France.

[5] Energi Norge, About Energy Norway.

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