Middle Eastern countries can bring up their ranking in the World Energy Council’s (WEC) World Energy Trilemma report by trying to diversify their energy sources, an expert said.
The WEC released its annual World Energy Trilemma for 2012 earlier this month, where the three highest ranking Middle Eastern countries were Qatar in the 41st place, the UAE in 44th place and Saudi Arabia in 46th place.
The study ranks the 93 WEC’s member countries on their performance in energy and climate policies and details recommendations for policy makers.
Mark Robson, partner at the global consulting firm Oliver Wyman, which has been partnering with WEC on this report for the past three years and has overseen the development of WEC’s Energy Sustainability Index, said that the world energy trilemma report is targeted at policymakers, as to help them make better policies regarding the energy sector.
He explained that they measure the energy sustainability in terms of the countries likely ability to provide sustainable energy policies through the three dimensions of the energy trilemma: energy security, social equity and environmental impact mitigation.
Energy security is the effective management of primary energy supply from domestic and external sources, the reliability of energy infrastructure, and the ability of participating energy companies to meet current and future demand.
Social equity measures the accessibility and affordability of energy to the people. Environmental impact mitigation is the development of energy supply from renewable and other low-carbon sources.
“The Middle East does very well in the aspects of social equity, as they have high-quality energy and almost everybody has access to it, but what brings their ranking down is their concentration on oil as source of energy, which brings them down in energy security.” Robson said.
He added that most of the top ranking countries in the index, such as Canada and Sweden, have diverse energy sources.
“The Middle East is now trying to diversify their energy sources and we have seen a lot of focus on that during the UN Climate Change COP18.”
He mentioned that as an example, the UAE has Masdar and the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy investing in renewable energy research and projects.
“There is a real opportunity for the Middle East to become the center of renewable energy research.” Robson said, he added.
“The Middle East can become a role model, as they are investing in all forms of energy. Ten years from now, we might say that other countries should follow in their steps.”