The case for the transition towards sustainable energy systems has never been stronger. Global economic rebalancing, environmental concerns, and improvements in energy efficiency due to technological innovations – all combined – continue to drive the gradual decarbonization of the global fuel mix. Transitioning towards sustainable energy systems often involves optimizing multiple pathways.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) aims to “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.” Indeed, improving access to affordable and clean energy for all, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon footprint of the energy sector, is a laudable objective. However, the “energy trilemma” – a conceptual framework for understanding the tensions inherent in balancing energy security, affordability, and environmental sustainability — remains a central challenge for energy governance.