Geoff Matthews, Futurist and Global Head of Strategy for Energia Potior Ltd, today called for creation a global ranking of nations indexed against the freedom and right for individuals, communities and private sector organisations, to generate and use electricity from clean renewable sources.

Matthews speaking at the 2nd Future Aluminium Forum, says the electrification of almost everything will mean that economic growth, particularly in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), will be tied to the cost of clean renewable electricity. “It will be important going forward that these nations don’t become caught in the poverty trap of using the existing electricity sector as a cash-cow at the expense of economic growth,” he says.

“Low-cost clean renewable energy will become the significant driver of economic growth over the next 25 -30 years, certainly in the LDCs, and possibly in even some of the more developed nations,” he says.

Matthews agrees with the International Energy Agencies (IEA) position that the future is electric and mostly renewable. “So much so in fact, that I believe in the freedom for people to generate and use renewable energy will become a basic human right, and will be fought over as vigorously as freedom of speech and the right to education.

“This is why we need to start to measure where individual nations rank.
“Once you start to measure something you can start to change behaviours. No government will want to be in the bottom quartile of a ‘Freedom of Renewable Energy’ index. The top quartile will become the best place to do business, and attract the investment required for economic growth.

Matthews suspects a number of more developed nations may also not rank as highly as would be expected. “The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7), and the agencies that report to it, are well positioned to create such a global ranking of nations,” he says. “The SDG7 is meeting tomorrow in New York and no doubt the stalling of renewable energy growth will be high on the agenda, but they need to be pointing the finger in the right direction.”

Matthews says the current slow down of renewable energy growth is man-made, and not because of technological impediments. “A global ranking of nations will help identify the roadblocks to the increased use of renewable energy and ultimately to decarbonisation,” he says.

Geoff Matthews Energia Potior Limited +64274426750

Nadine Bloxsome Programme Director at Future Aluminium Forum, Editor, Aluminium International Today

Geoff Matthews sits on the Advisory Board of the Future Aluminium Forum, and is regarded as the world’s leading strategist on how the primary aluminium smelters can interface with renewable energy grids.