World Energy Trilemma Framework

The World Energy Trilemma report and index have been prepared annually since 2010 by the World Energy Council in partnership with global consultancy Oliver Wyman, along with Marsh & McLennan Advantage of its parent Marsh & McLennan Companies. 


Healthy energy systems are secure, equitable and environmentally sustainable, showing a carefully managed balanced Trilemma between the three dimensions. Maintaining this balance in context of rapid transition to decentralised, decarbonised and digital systems is challenging with the risk of passive trade-offs between equally critical priorities.  

Energy leaders need to manage the competing demands of the energy trilemma. The Council's World Energy Trilemma Framework, the World Energy Trilemma Index is an annual measurement of national energy system performances across each of the three trilemma dimensions:  

  • Energy Security measures a nation’s capacity to meet current and future energy demand reliably, withstand and bounce back swiftly from system shocks with minimal disruption to supplies. The dimension covers the effectiveness of management of domestic and external energy sources, as well as the reliability and resilience of energy infrastructure.
  • Energy Equity assesses a country’s ability to provide universal access to reliable, affordable, and abundant energy for domestic and commercial use. The dimension captures basic access to electricity and clean cooking fuels and technologies, access to prosperity-enabling levels of energy consumption, and affordability of electricity, gas, and fuel.
  • Environmental Sustainability of energy systems represents the transition of a country’s energy system towards mitigating and avoiding potential environmental harm and climate change impacts. The dimension focuses on productivity and efficiency of generation, transmission and distribution, decarbonisation, and air quality. 

The World Energy Trilemma Index ranks energy performance of 127 countries on the three dimensions based on global and national data and includes recommended areas for improvements on policy coherence and integrated policy innovation, helping to develop well calibrated energy systems. 

The Index provides insights into a country’s relative energy performance with regards to Energy Security, Energy Equity and Environmental Sustainability. In doing so, the Index highlights a country’s challenges in balancing the World Energy Trilemma and opportunities for improvements in meeting energy goals now and in the future. The Index aims to inform policy makers, energy leaders, and the investment and financial sector. Index rankings provide comparisons across countries on each of the three dimensions, whilst historical indexed scores provide insights into the performance trends of each country over time. 

The tool can also be used to:  

  • Learn from leading performers and best practice 
  • Assess effectiveness of energy policies for enabling balanced transition management 
  • Analyse the urgency of competing priorities 
  • Test the relative impact of focus shifts and new directions 
  • Support dialogue on integrated policy innovation 


The World Energy Trilemma ranking provides a platform for countries to celebrate policy gains, positive trends, and performance relative to neighbours. By collaborating with the Council, national Member Committees can work to develop bespoke national and sub-national Trilemma models.  

World Energy Trilemma Index 2022

The World Energy Trilemma is in its 12th year of publication amidst a time of unprecedented energy shocks and multiple crises that continue to cause disruptions to energy systems. The interaction of these shocks and crises has a cascading impact that affect energy security, energy affordability and sustainability issues including climate change across regions.

Driving a clean and just energy transition that simultaneously ensures a secure, equitable, and sustainable way forward continues to be a complex problem. 2022, the year of convergence of the crises, reinforced the need for balance in the dimensions of energy security, affordability, and sustainability. The Trilemma framework continues to offer a baseline for designing and developing new insights to assist regions in understanding the impact and track the progress of their energy transitions.

The present state of the Trilemma dimensions highlights trajectories that are not aligned to the recent energy shocks and crises; the 2022 data is not reflective of the existing energy situation. However, the long term trends in the data remain informative as countries seek to drive a secure, equitable, and sustainable transition. This 2022 report examines how the Trilemma offers a prism on the past and opportunities for driving forward improvements to measure the impact of the energy transition.

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World Energy Trilemma Index 2022
World Energy Trilemma Index 2022
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The impacts of turmoil in energy markets on World Energy Trilemma Index 2022 outcome. 

Given the recent speed and scale of change across energy markets caused by the war in Ukraine, the relevance of the 2022 World Energy Trilemma Index source data carries risk. Data was sourced prior the conflict. 

Accordingly, the 2022 report focuses mainly on the lessons learnt from the different shocks and crises of the year and will inform about new metrics needed to incorporate justice (users) and resilience agendas.  

The World Energy Council's Insights team has an ambitious delivery plan for next year. 

The 2023 plan will be to progress the flexible Trilemma approach that is more resilient to the multiple crises that we witnessed in 2022. 

The redesign will focus on the transparency of the methodology and the increased ability to measure and track the performance of different countries. 


Users are encouraged to read this report in conjunction with the Online Tool, which presents full results per country, as well and commentary and insights from national experts, including:

  • The 2022 Rank, Score and Grade, including a short introduction of the country accompanied by high level statistics.
  • The Energy Trilemma Balance Triangle is a snap-shot of the balance of a national energy system.
  • Historical Trends for all three dimensions using 2000 as a base year; each dimension is tracked from a base score in the base year to show improvements or declines over time compared to a national baseline.
  • Commentary on national trends and outlook of the country’s energy system; written by Council Member Committee experts to help understand the historical trends and policies that affect the Trilemma scores.
  • Key indicators driving the scores in each dimension are presented: the 2020 score and a trend since 2010 (rising, falling or stable).





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