RISE 2020: Sustaining the Momentum
In December 2020, the World Bank published the third edition of the Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy (RISE). RISE measures policy progress in 138 countries on renewable energy, energy efficiency, electricity access, and access to clean cooking – the four target areas of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7), which calls for achieving access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030.
These are the key findings according to the report:
While nearly every country in the world saw advancements in sustainable energy policy between 2017 and 2019, the most rapid improvements were in Sub-Saharan Africa. But globally policy progress overall is slower than in the past, particularly around renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Access to energy
Policy progress from 2017 to 2019 accelerated for access to electricity and clean cooking. Among countries with the highest electricity access deficits, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania made the most progress in adopting policies. Policies for mini-grids and stand-alone power systems showed the most increase in adoption, reflecting the growing role of distributed energy for electricity access relative to the grid. Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania also advanced in policy on consumer affordability and utility transparency.
When it comes to clean cooking, 2017-2019 saw large gains in Sub-Saharan African countries, notably Benin, Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania, although from a low base. That follows notable progress since 2010 in upper- and lower-middle-income countries in Asia (Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, and Nepal) and Latin America (Guatemala). While only 15 percent of the clean cooking access-deficit countries have achieved advanced policy frameworks, of these countries China, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia and Kenya represent more than half of the unserved population globally.
Renewable energy policies are converging among higher-, middle-, and lower-income countries, after a decade of rapid advancement across the board. Among the countries covered by RISE, only 37 percent had a national renewable energy target in 2010. By 2019, 99 percent of the world’s countries had either established a comprehensive legal framework for renewable energy or begun to do so. One third of countries worldwide had advanced policy frameworks for renewable energy, putting them in the report’s “green zone”, while 44 percent remained in the “yellow zone”, suggesting room for improvement. While 2017-2019 saw the overall renewable energy gap close between lower-income and higher-income countries, another gap widened: while almost every country adopted policies for renewable energy for electricity, only a third of countries have a clear target or plan for the use of renewable energy in heating and cooling, and only half for renewables in the transport sector.
By 2019, nearly 70 percent of RISE countries had enacted energy efficiency plans. While OECD countries have the most advanced energy efficiency policy frameworks, the fastest improving regions were sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, led by Chad and Ecuador, respectively. The heating and cooling sector saw the highest energy efficiency policy scores globally, with approximately 75 percent of surveyed countries having adopted minimum HVAC energy performance standards and labelling measures. Yet improvement is still needed across the income spectrum; for example, some Persian Gulf countries have high-income levels but lag in their uptake of efficiency measures.
The COVID-19 pandemic underscores the need for policies and regulations that mitigate the risk of global shocks while also boosting investments in resilient energy systems and encouraging behavioural changes. At the same time, improving sustainable energy policy supports higher employment, particularly around energy efficiency and distributed electrification.
RISE 2020: Sustaining the Momentum is the third edition of the report. The report is published by the World Bank with funding from the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP).
The full report, along with detailed country profiles, is available at https://rise.esmap.org/