Herrero, C., Pineda, J., Villar, A. and E. Zamorano
Applied Energy – Vol. 279, December 2020, 115691

Keywords: Green economy, Sustainable development, Composite index, Measurement, Progress

Abstract: This paper presents an index to evaluate progress in achieving the key dimensions of the Sustainable Development Goal 7, which entails ensuring “access to affordable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.” The key aspects of this index, called the Inclusive Green Energy index, are: (i) it focuses on the changes, rather than on the levels, of the access and use of energy; (ii) it exhibits a decomposability feature that permits integrating several dimensions, both positive and negative, in a friendly way; and (iii) the evaluation of progress is made relative to some reference values (targets and thresholds) that can differ between countries. We calculate the Inclusive Green Energy index of progress for 183 countries using data from 2000 to 2014 on three indicators intended to capture inclusiveness, greenness, and efficiency of energy use. The results show that progress has, on average, been positive across the world, with more than 88 percent of the sample of countries experiencing some degree of progress. However, progress is smaller for the Middle East and North African and Sub-Saharan African countries, and it is negative for most of the countries that exhibit low levels of human development, as measured by the Human Development Index. Furthermore, fewer than one in four of the countries in the sample have an Inclusive Green Energy index commensurate with having met their targets. This suggests that much remains to be done by almost all countries worldwide concerning being on track towards meeting their Sustainable Development Goal 7 by 2030.