Energy transition is the shift in energy production from traditional carbon-based resources, such as coal and oil, to renewable sources of power including wind, solar, geothermal, and hydropower.

The goal of energy transition is sustainability: a society where the earth's natural resources are used collectively and responsibly to improve our livelihood and well-being without harming the environment.


Energy is the lifeblood of modern society.

The energy we use every day – to heat our homes, fuel our cars and trucks, produce food and sustain manufacturing – revolves around naturally occurring carbon-based resources like coal, oil, and natural gas.

However, as global energy demand has grown and climate awareness has risen in recent years, there has been an increased push toward transitioning from these traditional carbon-based resources toward cleaner renewable sources of power such as wind turbines, solar panels, geothermal facilities, and hydroelectric dams.

In December 2015, a total of 196 parties adopted the Paris Agreement during the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

This agreement aims to keep the global average temperature to "well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels" and "endeavor to limit the increase to 1.5°C.”

Energy transition is considered one of the key strategies in achieving this goal.

Using renewable energy sources can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help meet a higher portion of primary energy demand.

The renewable energy transition will define the future shape of the global energy supply, with major opportunities for investors, policymakers, and project developers alike.

Countries on the Implementation of Energy Transition

The Energy Transition Index (ETI) is one way to track how countries are progressing toward energy transition.

The ETI ranks 115 countries based on the performance of their energy systems.

It was developed as an indicator for tracking global climate action and as a tool for identifying policy-making priorities.


Leading the global rankings is Sweden, followed by Denmark and Norway.

The United Kingdom and France are featured in the top 10 among the world's largest economies.

These countries have been consistent in their ranks over the past years.

Although each has different ways of implementing energy transition, they have common attributes in their endeavor to focus on renewable energy, such as:

  • reduced dependence on fossil fuels
  • strong regulations in place to promote renewable energy
  • enhanced energy source from carbon-intensive sources

From 2012 to 2021, the records show 92 out of 115 countries making significant progress, with 68 of them having improved scores by more than two percentage points.

Importance of Energy Transition

The energy transition is essential for sustainable development, one of the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It will allow countries to meet their growing energy demands while concurrently reducing emissions of harmful pollutants into the atmosphere.

Countries can accomplish this by investing in clean energy sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal, which are more environmentally friendly than traditional fossil fuels like oil or coal.

The renewable energy sector is growing rapidly throughout the world and has created millions of jobs.

We can help protect vulnerable ecosystems and habitats by transitioning to these green energy sources while simultaneously fighting climate change.

Benefits of Energy Transition

Energy transition is a promising avenue toward sustainability. Below are some of its benefits:

Decrease Environmental Pollution

Energy transition decreases the amount of pollution produced by society through the use of renewable energy sources rather than traditional carbon-based resources like coal and oil.

Decrease Dependence on Fossil Fuels

It reduces the world's dependency on traditional carbon-based resources by introducing renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind.

Thus, if done correctly, energy transition can shift the way people produce and use energy on a global scale and pave the way for sustainable societies.

Increase Economic Activity

By producing power from renewables rather than traditional carbon-emitting resources, a society can decrease its dependence on imported fossil fuels, and create local jobs in production, installation, and maintenance.

Challenges Associated With Energy Transition

Although there are many benefits to be gained from transitioning toward a more sustainable mode of energy production, there are also challenges associated with it.

1. The lack of financing can challenge global community participation in energy transition.

Renewable energy is becoming more and more competitive with conventional energy generation technologies.

However, the high costs involved in initially developing the infrastructure to bring renewable energy sources online means that a majority of these projects are still reliant on public finance.

2. The lack of government support for energy transition could hinder its development.

Individual countries need to adopt policies that promote clean energy production and support education initiatives designed to develop new workers for green industries.

Additionally, government regulations such as feed-in tariffs (FITs) can help drive investment toward renewables by guaranteeing a certain price for electricity generated from renewables.

3. Energy transition will not be achieved unless strong local policies are in place.

Strong government policies need to be in place to support the adoption of renewables, especially in developing regions.

While renewable energy capacity is expanding, there are still major obstacles to making the world's power generation more sustainable.

A Global Push Toward Sustainability

Energy transition is a promising avenue toward sustainability.

This transition may be challenging, but the benefits of a sustainable world will far outweigh its challenges.

When communities embrace renewable energy sources and move away from traditional carbon-based resources, they can improve their environmental footprints, decrease dependency on fossil fuels, increase economic activity, and ultimately pave the way for sustainable societies.

Even households play a huge part in energy transition. There are several actions that each household can take to reduce its environmental impact and help facilitate sustainable energy:

  • energy-efficient solutions like LED lighting and smart thermostats can help decrease energy consumption, 
  • using sustainable transportation like public transit, biking, and walking can reduce the use of fossil fuels,
  • opting for green pricing programs to get part of all their energy from renewable sources,
  • buying from companies that provide products or services that have received the ECOLOGO® certification, etc.

Collectively, small efforts can have a large impact, and if everyone participates in the global push toward sustainable energy transition, then sustainability is achievable.


1. What are the benefits of energy transition?

The main benefit of transitioning to renewable power sources is that it is a cleaner option than traditional carbon-based energy. Renewables are also more abundant, which means they are less expensive in the long run.

2. Why does a global push toward sustainability matter?

Energy transition can decrease our dependence on conventional fossil fuels while providing sustainable development and financial opportunities for people around the world.

3. How can local communities facilitate energy transition to clean and sustainable forms of power generation?

Individual community members use green transportation alternatives and minimize their impact on climate change through small lifestyle changes. Local communities need a strong political will to provide supportive policies for initiatives that promote their transition to renewable energy. This can be achieved through initiatives by concerned individuals, businesses, and non-governmental organizations working together with the local government to achieve this goal.

4. How can individual households help facilitate sustainable energy transition?

Individual households can save money over time by transitioning away from traditional carbon-based power sources. Small actions like unplugging unused appliances and using LED lighting instead of incandescent bulbs also help decrease household energy consumption. Energy efficiency should be a priority for all communities as it contributes greatly to economic development and sustainability.

5. What are some potential challenges associated with energy transition?

The main challenge of the global energy transition is the initial cost of developing renewable infrastructure. Renewables are costly when they first become available, which can burden developing countries.

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