Energy Policy Scenarios to 2050
2.1 What are the three A's?
In its Millennium Statement, WEC established three sustainability objectives. Coined the 3 A's they are Accessibility to modern, affordable energy for all; Availability in terms of continuity of supply and quality and reliability of service; and Acceptability in terms of social and environmental goals. These objectives have provided the basis for WEC's work since then and they underpin the analysis of Energy Policy Scenarios to 2050.
In more detail,
Accessibility means that a minimum level of commercial energy services (in the form of electricity, stationary uses, and transport) is available at prices that are both affordable (low enough to meet the needs of the poor) and sustainable (prices reflecting the full marginal costs of energy production, transmission, and distribution to support the financial ability of suppliers to maintain and develop these energy services). Getting access to the two billion people in the world without reliable commercial energy of any kind is the key.
Availability relates to the long-term continuity of supply as well as to the short-term quality of service. Energy shortages can disrupt economic development, so a well-diversified portfolio of domestic or imported (or regionally) traded fuels and energy services is required. Keeping all energy options open is the key.
Acceptability addresses public attitudes and the environment, covering many issues: deforestation, land degradation or soil acidification at the regional level; indoor or local pollution such as that from the burning of traditional biomass fuels, or because of poor quality coal briquettes or charcoal production; greenhouse gas emissions and climate change on a global scale; nuclear security, safety, waste management, and proliferation; and the possible negative impact of the large dams or large-scale modern biomass developments. Clean technologies and their transfer to developing countries is the key.
Figure 2-1 relates these 3 A objectives in a general way to some drivers, goals, or constraints commonly used by others (exact boundaries are flexible and subject to individual interpretation).