The World Economic Forum (WEF) released its Energy Transition Index (ETI) 2019 on Monday, throughout which Egypt ranked number 89 among 115 countries, scoring 49% at the ETI, 55% at system performance, and 43% at transition readiness.
Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Finland, and Denmark are the top five countries in the ETI index, revealed the report, noting that across the 115 economies, more people than ever have access to energy now. However, this is offset by reduced affordability and almost no progress in making energy systems environmentally sustainable.
The report called for urgent action on the part of policy-makers and businesses to safeguard energy development for future generations.
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) group accounts for 6.8% of the global energy demand, and 7.1% of the world’s population, noted the report, adding that the region is well endowed with fossil fuel resources which have greatly influenced its energy mix, with 92% of its primary energy supply provided by oil and gas.
Moreover, geopolitical tensions and instability in MENA countries affect political priorities, opportunities for energy systems integration, and the ability to attract investments required for the energy transition.
The group has consistently registered the lowest average score in the environmental sustainability dimension compared to other groups. Outdoor air pollution, measured by the level of airborne PM2.5, is the highest in the world, as a result of relaxed requirements where, within the region, only Iran and Israel have adopted laws that set limits on particulate matter and air pollution.
The MENA has the lowest average household and industry electricity prices and the lowest wholesale gas prices, mentioned the report, adding that the positive impact of low prices on the economic development dimension, however, is offset by the negative impact of having the highest level of energy subsidies in the world, calculated as the share of a country’s GDP.
Significant efforts are under way within the MENA countries to reform energy prices, the report said, noting that nine countries, at a minimum, have imposed certain forms or levels of energy price reforms over the past few years in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Algeria, Iran, and Egypt.
On the energy security and access dimension, the MENA has a high score in electrification with an average of 98%. This is offset by the lower score in the energy security dimension, resulting from the concentration of oil and gas within the energy mix, the report pointed out.
On both energy security and economic growth, the region can greatly benefit from further integration of the energy supply infrastructure, the report noted.
One notable effort is in Egypt, where a 3,000MW power transmission line has been approved to link the power grid to Saudi Arabia in order to improve the country’s energy security, the report said.Two other connections exist with Jordan and Libya, and studies are under way to evaluate a potential connection with Cyprus, the report mentioned.