World Energy Issues Monitor

World Energy Issues Monitor 2021: Humanising Energy

This year’s World Energy Issues Monitor is not like any is not like any other. Set against the backdrop of crisis caused by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 survey of more than 2,500 energy leaders from 108 countries has reframed and reset the energy transition agenda.

Based on data collection carried out between October and December 2020, and the testing of emerging findings with the Council’s regional communities during a series of digital workshops held during February 2021, the report has shown:

  • Energy leaders’ perceptions of areas of risk, opportunity, and priorities for action have radically changed over the last 12 months. While economic turbulence stemming from the ongoing reverberations of COVID-19 is the biggest area of uncertainty, with uncertainty around economic trends increasing by a third over the previous year, there is also a growing focus on the social agenda associated with a faster paced energy transition.
  • There is an increased awareness of the societal and human impact of both recovery and the wider energy transition. The issue of energy affordability has rapidly risen up the industry’s priority list, with its impact and uncertainty perceived 20% larger than a year ago. Energy affordability affects society across all geographies ranging from city dwellers in developed countries to the rural poor in developing ones.
  • The emergence of a new generation of digital energy services and energy entrepreneurs. Increasingly agile, disruptive technologies have taken advantage of the social upheaval to gain market share at the expense of supply-centric energy solutions. There is a growing focus on customer-centric demand-driven solutions and fast changing patterns of global and local demand.


World Energy Issues Monitor 2021: Humanising Energy
World Energy Issues Monitor 2021: Humanising Energy
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About the World Energy Issues Monitor

In an era where the energy landscape is undergoing faster and fundamental transformation, energy leaders must pay attention to many different signals of change and distinguish key issues from the noise.

The World Energy Council has been tracking energy leaders’ perspectives on the issues affecting the sector over the past 12 years through the annual World Energy Issues Monitor. By asking policy makers, CEOs and leading industry experts to assess the level of impact and uncertainty they attribute to a range of energy transition issues, the World Energy Issues Monitor provides unique insight into: a) the Action Priorities or areas where countries are acting pragmatically to progress energy transition; and b) the Critical Uncertainties or issues viewed as areas of concern, and how these have evolved over time.

The Issues Survey captures 25 core energy transition issues across 5 categories:

  1. Global trends and macroeconomics
  2. Social dynamics
  3. New technologies
  4. Energy policy and business environment
  5. Environment

The World Energy Issues Monitor is widely used by the World Energy Council’s Member Committees and the global energy community as a “reality check” tool, offering a horizon-scan of perspectives on energy transitions from a country’s own energy stakeholders. These perspectives are presented in combination with regional-level commentaries and country-level Issues Maps to inform decision-making discussions by:

  • Promoting a shared understanding of successful energy transitions
  • Understanding how energy transitions are perceived by sector stakeholders in relation to national and regional energy strategies
  • Appreciating and contrasting regional variations to better understand differing priorities and areas of concern
  • Following the evolution of specific economic, social, technology, political, business and environmental trends related to the energy sector

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