Clean Energy Transitions Programme

Accelerating global transitions towards sustainable energy

The Clean Energy Transitions Programme (CETP) leverages the IEA’s unique energy expertise across all fuels and technologies to accelerate global clean-energy transitions, particularly in major emerging economies. The Programme includes collaborative analytical work, technical cooperation, training and capacity building and strategic dialogues.

This map is without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area.

Where do we work?

The programme focuses on key emerging economies including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa, as well as other IEA Association and Partner countries and regions where the programme can have high impact.

  • Brazil
  • China
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Mexico
  • South Africa

Brazil has one of the cleanest electricity systems in the world, with renewable sources (primarily hydropower) making up almost three-quarters of its generation mix. It is also the largest energy player in Latin America, making up almost one-third of energy production and almost half of total final consumption in the region. With the right policies and investments, CO2 emissions could be almost halved by 2040.

Under the CETP, IEA is working with Brazil on supporting the development and review of the national energy efficiency action plan, as well as work related to renewable energy deployment.

China is the world’s largest consumer and producer of energy and the world’s leading CO2 emitter, responsible for around 28% of global emissions. At the same time, China is the world’s leading investor in renewable energy and has the world's largest renewable energy capacity. It is also forecast to account for 40% of global renewable capacity growth to 2022.

Under the CETP, work is underway in China on examining power system optimisation and understanding interactions between policies, with an emphasis on the country's emissions trading system. The IEA is also contributing to preparation of China’s mid-century energy transition strategy.

India is the world's fastest growing country in terms of global energy demand, with potentially significant consequences for greenhouse gas emissions. Ambitious efforts are underway to more than triple renewable power from just over 50 GW today to 175 GW by 2022. India, China and the United States are together forecast to account for more than two thirds of global renewable expansion by 2022.

The IEA is working with India on flexible power systems, improvement of energy data, innovation tracking and development of sound clean energy R&D policies.

Indonesia is the largest economy and largest coal producer in Southeast Asia and and the world’s second largest coal exporter. Indonesia is also Asia's third largest CO2 emitter after China and India.

The IEA is working with Indonesia to improve energy efficiency by supporting the development of a comprehensive energy efficiency strategy for the industry sector and a set of energy efficiency indicators; providing comprehensive capacity building on energy efficiency to policymakers; and analysing the impact of introducing fuel standards for heavy duty vehicles. Work is also underway to provide advice and guidance on ways to encourage and promote power sector investment, to reduce renewables costs and enhance scale-up, and to move forward with effective power sector planning and reform. The IEA is also providing technical assistance aimed at enhancing Indonesian energy data and statistics, including strengthening energy balances.

Mexico’s energy consumption has the potential to rise substantially by 2040, as energy consumption per capita is only 40% of the OECD average. At the same time, Mexico’s energy system is undergoing a profound transition and reform aimed at modernising, diversifying, and decarbonising the energy system - even under current plans, half of the projected 100 GW of new capacity to 2040 is set to come from renewable sources

The IEA is working with Mexico, an IEA member country, to improve energy data and energy efficiency among other areas of work under the CETP.

South Africa is the continent's largest energy consumer and holds about half of Africa's electricity generation capacity. It also has the highest electrification rates in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet as the fifth largest coal producer in the world, coal comprises 70% of primary energy consumption and over 90% of the electricity mix in South Africa. In a scenario where Africa meets ambitious economic and social development goals, the share of renewables in South Africa’s power mix would rise from 1% to 22% in 2040, leading to a significant reduction CO2 emissions intensity of the power sector – currently among the highest in the world.

CETP focus areas

Over recent years, the IEA has been working increasingly closely with key emerging economies on programmes such as Energy Efficiency in Emerging Economies (E4), Grid Integration of Variable Renewables (GIVAR), work under the Clean Energy Ministerial and the training and capacity building programme for data and statistics that trains about 500 participants per year from 50 countries. The IEA has also produced World Energy Outlook Special Reports on India and Mexico, and included a special focus on China in World Energy Outlook 2017.

The CETP builds on this experience and focuses on six inter-related thematic areas to support partner countries with their energy transitions.

Data and statistics

Robust, policy relevant data and statistics are key to making policy decisions including identifying priorities, setting clear targets and measuring progress. Building on the IEA Energy Data Centre’s long-established track record on sharing knowledge and best practices on energy data, the CETP aims to forge stronger partnerships with agencies and organisations in focus countries to improve and expand energy statistics at the country level.

The CETP focuses on improvements in energy data quality by sharing information on data collection and organisation practices through workshops, training events and developing guidance manuals on energy statistics in multiple languages.

Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is a key, cost-effective means to improve the sustainability of the energy sector. Under the CETP, the Energy Efficiency for Emerging Economies (E4) Programme supports the scale-up of energy efficiency activities that generate economy-wide benefits in countries such as Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and South Africa, as well as with regional and multilateral platforms including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and G20.

The E4 Programme works with target country governments based on areas of interest including projecting the potential for energy efficiency to inform national policy, tracking progress and assessing impacts and adapting polices to achieve greater impacts. The programme also works with countries to quantify and communicate the multiple benefits of energy efficiency with the objective of engaging leaders, ministries and other influential stakeholders.

Electricity sector transition for a high renewables future

This work stream focuses on understanding how to improve electricity system flexibility to integrate renewable energy sources, including addressing questions related to market structure and investment needs. Flexibility implies the capability of a power system to maintain continuous service in the face of rapid and large swings in supply or demand – increasingly important as variable renewable energy sources are added to the energy mix.

Under the CETP the IEA is working with countries to deliver a toolbox for policy, including a database of modelling parameters, criteria for power system modelling, and collection of best practices.

Policy guidance and modelling

The IEA is ramping up its efforts to support strategic policy planning for clean energy through the development of tailored analytical tools that can help to decipher energy policy challenges and opportunities in different country contexts. By focusing on a range of energy-related Sustainable Development Goals, the IEA’s modelling outputs can guide each country’s energy transition policies depending on local development priorities, such as improving energy access and reducing air pollution. For example, the IEA's modelling and analytical capabilities have been put to work in the power sector in sub-Saharan Africa, on energy security in Thailand, and on comprehensive energy outlooks for India, the People’s Republic of China and Mexico.

The CETP also focuses on improving modelling capacity in target countries to shed light on long-term clean energy pathways, as well as the mitigation potentials and technologies to enable clean energy transitions. In addition, the IEA carries out joint modelling exercises with partner organisations in specific countries.

Energy transitions in sectors

To support energy transitions in specific sectors, CETP includes modelling and technical co-operation work focused on the industry and transport sectors, with a set of work streams that can be tailored to different countries depending on their particular profile and policy priorities.

Work encompasses development and use of analytical tools, technology roadmaps, policy advice (e.g. fuel economy standards for vehicles and demand-side management in industry), strategic planning, and sharing of best practices.

Technology innovation, collaboration and tracking

The IEA is working with countries to enhance analysis and tracking of RD&D spending; identify innovation needs, gaps and opportunities; support development and improvement of national frameworks for clean energy innovation; and enhance multi-lateral collaboration on energy research and innovation, including sharing of best practices between countries.

Under the CETP, efforts are underway to deepen engagement of key emerging economies through Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCP) and enhance cooperation under Mission Innovation. The IEA has developed low-carbon energy technology roadmaps to accelerate development and deployment of key technologies for the energy transitions. The CETP aims to support the development and implementation of technology roadmaps tailored to national capabilities, resources, and goals.

Related analysis

CETP supports or enhances a range of IEA reports and paper relevant to clean energy transitions for emerging economies.


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