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The Energy Trilemma: Finding The Right Balance Between Sustainability, Security And Affordability

The current global energy crisis arose from geopolitical conflicts, supply chain disruption, underinvestment in broader energy sources, resurgence in demand following the COVID-19 pandemic, legacy and disconnected infrastructure, and slower-than-required investments in clean energy sources.

In order to enable inclusive economic growth while remaining within the targets of the Paris Agreement, energy intensity will likely need to be dramatically reduced and the energy transition may need to proceed at a much faster rate than it has to date.

Tackling the current crisis and accelerating the energy transition may require concerted action not only from businesses and societies but also from individuals across the three dimensions of what has become known as the "Energy trilemma"-or the overlapping aims of addressing sustainability and climate change, bolstering energy security and resilience, and creating a just and affordable system.

The current power-price crisis in Europe, as well as ongoing threats to energy security from climate-change-driven severe weather events, has further emphasized the need for energy diversification. In response, some are exploring ways to help accelerate the shift to sustainable, long-term energy supplies; understand energy efficiency and the potential for fuel-switching; simulate footprint choices for optimized energy locations; and model policy choices to help inform the above.

Ensuring energy equity and accessibility could turn the investment equation upside down, since developing nations currently receive only a fraction of global investments in clean energy despite having the highest need.

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