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Clean Energy Transitions Programme

Accelerating clean-energy transitions in major emerging economies

The IEA 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. CETP activities include collaborative analytical work, technical cooperation, training and capacity building and strategic dialogues.

Launched in November 2017, the IEA Clean Energy Transitions Programme (CETP) is an ambitious effort to accelerate global clean energy transitions. The programme provides independent, cutting-edge support to governments whose energy policies will significantly influence the prospects for – and the speed of – the global transition towards more sustainable energy production and use.

Priority countries include Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa, as well as other IEA Association countries and key regions such as Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa.

CETP origin and approach

The CETP aims to more fully leverage the IEA’s all-of-technologies expertise – built up over more than 40 years – to help reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, achieve universal access to electricity and substantially reduce air pollution. Specific areas of focus were chosen in a disciplined manner – in other words, where does the IEA have strengths and capabilities that can materially make a difference in the real world? Six work streams were prioritised: i) data and statistics; ii) energy efficiency; iii) electricity; iv) policy advice and modelling; v) sectoral work; and vi) innovation.

Specific work programmes are created by iterative consultations with each priority country. The IEA was able to build upon long-standing relationships (including at the minister level and above) and to listen to what key challenges each country is facing in its own clean energy transitions. The IEA’s independent and credible all-of-energy expertise has particularly resonated.

Data and Statistics

Robust, comparable and timely 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. Particular attention is paid to national energy balances including demand-side data and broader clean energy statistics.

In addition, the CETP provides tailored support to solve the main data issues and gaps and is working to include Association countries in monthly electricity statistics reports and database.

Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is a 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 main modes of collaboration encompass support for policy development, joint learning and practice sharing through thematic workshops, policy trainings, webinars and online trainings.

Through the E4 Programme, the IEA works with target country governments based on areas of interest including understanding the potential of energy efficiency to enable a secure, sustainable energy system, setting targets and tracking progress through energy efficiency indicators, and policy evaluation for continuous improvement, developing strategies and policy design to deliver energy efficient prosperity. The programme is increasingly working with countries to quantify and communicate the multiple benefits of energy efficiency with the objective of engaging leaders, ministries and other influential stakeholders. Specific areas of work include energy efficiency in cooling and in buildings, with a particular focus on developing building code roadmaps, as well as ESCO market development and other market mechanisms.


Electricity work focuses on understanding how to improve electricity system flexibility to integrate renewable energy sources, including addressing questions related to market structure and investment needs, through in-country work and the development of practical tools. 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.

Specific work with priority countries includes joint learning, knowledge exchanges and technical workshops on renewable energy integration at regional and country levels, enhancing data and modelling capabilities, mapping of financing for power sector, and enhancing international dialogue by leading the power system flexibility campaign within the framework of the Clean Energy Ministerial.

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 help 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.

Current CETP activities include: work on climate impacts modelling in energy; analytical work on updated material risks to the energy sector due to climate change; work on impacts of hydrological variability on hydropower production and implications for power market design; analytical work on the power sector’s structure implications for an ETS; analysis of energy, environment and climate policy integration into coherent policy packages; enhance and inform capabilities to enhance air pollution and energy analysis; analytical work on long-term modelling; and tailored global knowledge products for G20 countries.

Sectoral work

To support energy transitions in specific sectors, CETP includes modelling and technical co-operation work focused on hydrogen, the industry, transport and buildings sectors, with a set of work streams that can be tailored to different countries depending on their particular profile and policy priorities. In addition, CETP prominent work includes bioenergy, in fact, on 1 February 2019, the IEA became Facilitator for the Biofuture Platform.

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

Current efforts include: start buildings and construction regional roadmaps series; continued work on global iron and steel technology roadmap; analysis of the value chain from production, transport and storage to the various uses of hydrogen in terms of costs and potentials; and policy evaluation and recommendations to accelerate growth of sustainable bioenergy in focus countries.


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 also to deepen engagement with key emerging economies through the Technology Collaboration Programme (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.

Anticipated key deliverables include: best practice workshops on energy innovation tracking; new tools for tracking R&D spending; sharing of best practices between countries, including between emerging economies and IEA countries; continuing work to communicate the benefits of rigorous analysis and monitoring of energy RD&D efforts and their integration into energy policy; enhancing multilateral engagement through Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCPs) and assisting countries to take a co-ordinated, strategic approach to innovation partnerships such as MI.


Digitalisation creates new opportunities for power systems to transform and become multi-directional, responsive and integrated. In this context, energy efficiency and demand response and other demand side resources can play a decisive role in supporting resilience, providing flexibility and lowering investment requirements. However, efforts are needed to mainstream, scale up and accelerate progress. To make the most the opportunities that digitalisation can provide, IEA is developing guidance on a framework of integrated policy, market design, innovative business models and new business ecosystems to appropriately valorise and optimise demand side resources. 

Current activities include high level consultations and webinars, stakeholders engagement, capacity building and best practices sharing, and analytical work in the context of emerging economies.


Brazil has one of the cleanest energy and electricity mixes in the world, with renewable sources (primarily hydropower) making up more than three-quarters of its generation mix. It is also the largest energy player in Latin America, constituting around 40% of energy production and almost half of total final consumption in the region. With the right policies and investments, energy related CO2 emissions could be reduced even further in the coming decades.

Highlights from 2019 work include: advanced collaboration on end-use data for energy efficiency indicators; supporting the country in monitoring progress in energy efficiency and international benchmarking of energy efficiency; deepening collaboration on innovation, including new tools for tracking R&D spending and support on the modernization process of the Brazilian electricity sector.


China has played a central role in defining the global energy landscape over the last several decades, becoming the world’s largest consumer and producer of energy. Given its high overall energy consumption and its reliance on coal, China produces around 28% of global emissions. At the same time, China has made huge strides in energy efficiency and is the world’s leading investor in renewable energy, with the world's largest renewable energy capacity. It is also forecast to account for 36% of global renewable capacity growth to 2022.

Under the CETP, current work in China includes: power system optimisation; deeper analytical work on the power sector’s structure implications for China's national ETS; energy efficiency with a particular focus on cooling and on ESCOs; contributing to preparation of China’s mid-century energy transition strategy; continued work to enhance engagement on the benefits of rigorous analysis and monitoring of energy RD&D efforts and their integration into energy policy.


India is the world's fastest growing country in terms of global energy demand, as they work to improve the access to energy for the entire population. India has set a target of 175 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2022, and has taken huge strides towards this goal in recent years.

Continued work with India encompasses: in-depth review of India’s energy policy; state-level power system transformation; improvement of energy data; energy efficiency in cooling and in buildings, with a particular focus on developing building code roadmaps; energy efficiency market mechanisms and ESCOs; analytical work on long term modelling; support to the roadmap for the sustainable transition of the iron and steel sector; policy evaluation and recommendations to accelerate growth of sustainable bioenergy; deepening collaboration on innovation tracking and improved understanding of the elements of the national energy innovation systems and policy options.


Indonesia is the largest economy and largest coal producer in Southeast Asia and the world’s second largest net coal exporter. More than 80% of the energy in Indonesia comes from fossil fuels, with coal power plants still the main source of electricity. This predominance of coal in the energy mix contributes to the fact that Indonesia is the third-largest CO2 emitter in Asia after China and India. Indonesia is currently exploiting around 5% of its renewable energy capacity, but has great potential for development of renewable energy sources, in fact, it holds around 28 GW or 40% of the world´s geothermal reserves.

The IEA is working with Indonesia on supporting the development of a comprehensive energy efficiency strategy for the industry sector and a set of energy efficiency indicators; providing technical assistance aimed at enhancing Indonesian energy data and statistics, including strengthening energy balances; 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.


Mexico officially became the 30th IEA Member country on 17 February 2018, and its first Member in Latin America. Total energy demand in Mexico has grown by a quarter since 2000 and electricity consumption has grown by half, but per capita energy use is still less than 35% of the average in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), leaving scope for further growth.

The IEA is continuing activities to seek engaging Mexico on energy data and statistics, as well as on energy efficiency in buildings and in municipal services among other areas of work under the CETP.

South Africa

South Africa is the continent's largest energy consumer and holds around 45% of Sub-Saharan 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 4% in 2017 to 40% in 2040, leading to a significant reduction CO2 emissions intensity of the power sector – currently among the highest in the world.

The inclusion of South Africa in the IEA family in November 2018 as the eighth IEA Association country has strengthened ties and opportunities to collaborate under the CETP.

Ongoing work revolves around end-use and efficiency data, grid integration, industrial energy efficiency and space cooling.

Regional activities

Under the CETP, IEA regional activities in Latin America are mainly focused on renewable energy integration at the regional and country level, multiple benefits of energy efficiency, energy efficiency in buildings, as well as energy data and statistics (in cooperation with the Latin American Energy Organization, OLADE).

The CETP activities in the Middle East and North Africa seek to promote IEA engagement with local stakeholders, including ministries and statistical offices, and to strengthen the position of the IEA as trusted data and analysis provider.

The CETP is currently working in countries within the ASEAN region on energy efficiency, space cooling, on enablers for clean energy investments and on regional integration and renewables.

Under the CETP, activities in Sub-Saharan Africa include analysis and engagement focused on clean energy transitions, regional power system integration, and improvement of energy data and statistics.