A Global Baseline
In November 2013 the International Energy Agency (IEA) released the annual World Energy Outlook Report. These annual reports provide insight into the state of global energy usage as it relates to human development. In the practice of measuring progress, a standard unit of measure is required to weigh progression or regression. In realizing the need of quantitative measurability, the IEA looked to a more traditional yet similar unit of measure called the Human Development Index (HDI) invented by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq in 1990 and further developed by the United Nations Developed Programme (UNDP). And so the IEA came to the establishment of the Energy Development Index. Below is an excerpt from the IEA explaining how the EDI is calculated:
How is it calculated?
The EDI is calculated in such a way as to mirror the UNDP’s Human Development Index and is composed of four indicators, each of which captures a specific aspect of potential energy poverty1:
- Per capita commercial energy consumption: which serves as an indicator of the overall economic development of a country
- Per capita electricity consumption in the residential sector: which serves as an indicator of the reliability of, and consumer’s ability to pay for, electricity services
- Share of modern fuels in total residential sector energy use: which serves as an indicator of the level of access to clean cooking facilities
- Share of population with access to electricity
A separate index is created for each indicator, using the actual maximum and minimum values for the developing countries covered. Performance in each indicator is expressed as a value between 0 and 1, calculated using the formula below, and the EDI is then calculated as the arithmetic mean of the four values for each country. Source
Why is this relevant to The World Energy Foundation?
TWEF uses this index when researching communities around the world. We are focusing on the member countries that fall within the lower 25% of this index when considering the application of our services. This index along with other qualifiers helps us to determine where our charitable contributions will have the most impact and positively affect the most lives. TWEF will also contribute data to aid the IEA in areas where data is lacking. The EDI is measured against 80 countries but the index is only as accurate as the data it is based off. One of the considerations the IEA takes into account when measuring energy usage for developing countries is quality of modern energy usage. The definition of this quality is not only dependant on access to a reliable renewable energy source, but also the appliances to take advantage of said energy. These appliances can range from electrical outlets used to charge simple electronics to refrigeration units and lighting.
Want to Learn More?
If this article interests you, read our blog post titled Techno-Innovation for Energy Non-Profits to learn more about the new approach that The World Energy Foundation is taking to change the way we think about energy.