Author: Ronnel W. Domingo
The Philippines leads the world in terms of environmental sustainability in energy resources, according to a World Energy Council (WEC) index that also assesses countries based on energy security and energy equity.
These three criteria make up what the United Nations-accredited WEC calls a “‘trilemma,’ [which is] is the basis for prosperity and competitiveness of individual countries.”
The WEC recently came out with its World Energy Trilemma Index 2017—which covers 125 countries—in cooperation with the Marsh & McLennan group.
The Philippines was ranked 70th overall, ranking 63rd in the subindex of energy security and 95th in energy equity—the latter referring to whether energy was affordable and accessible to consumers.
“While not in the top 10 overall… the Philippines is leading the way on environmental sustainability,” the council wrote in the 145-page report.
Nine of the top 10 countries in the index are European, with the only exception being New Zealand at ninth. Denmark was No. 1 followed by Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, Norway and France. Slovenia completed the list at No. 10.
The WEC said there were complex trade-offs that were inherent in energy policy-making, as well as geographic limitations to achieving a balance among the three criteria.
For example, Luxembourg— also not in the overall top 10— was No. 1 in energy equity, but ranked 120th in security and 99th in environmental sustainability.
This was due to Luxembourg’s small territory that limited the availability and diversity of energy resources and generation capacity.
“The top 10 in environmental sustainability is dominated by states that are able to take advantage of their renewable energy potential such as Iceland, the Philippines and Costa Rica, which all have high geothermal or hydropower capacities,” the WEC said.
The council added that for these countries, a main challenge was to avoid over-reliance on one single or weather dependent energy resources, which could potentially hamper the resilience of the energy system and with that energy security.
“Taking advantage of the transition trends, such as decentralization, may provide countries like the Philippines with opportunities to improve energy access rates while at the same time improving the country’s energy equity performance,” the WEC said.