In its second Resourcefulness Index survey, Itron has endeavoured to take the concept a step further to define energy and water resourcefulness indexes for countries through a deeper look at the economic relevance of resourcefulness. In this context, ‘resourcefulness’ is defined as the ability to effectively manage the delivery and use of gas, water and electricity. It is based on the premise that such resourcefulness can play a central role in meeting rising energy and water demand and promoting economic stability.
For the study, macroeconomic data was compiled from third-party sources, including the World Bank, World Economic Forum and Global Water Intelligence. This was combined with survey findings to create a national resourcefulness ranking for the 16 countries surveyed.
The indices are organized into three pillars:
● Fundamentals, which reflect the ability of utilities to serve customers and the broader enabling environment
● Efficiency, which measures the extent to which energy or water is wasted by utilities and consumers
● Innovation, which captures the extent to which utilities are embracing new and emerging technologies.
Energy resourceful countries
Emerging as the top energy resourceful countries are Germany, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Spain and United States.
Germany’s energy economy has a complex profile. Policy decisions made during the past 15 years have set Germany apart from many of its European and global peers. Germany scored well in the fundamental and efficiency pillars because of its high quality of electric supply and low electricity transmission and distribution (T&D) losses.
The United Arab Emirates also did well on fundamentals, as well as innovation, where it is ranked first. Particular strengths are in digital demand response investment, quality of electricity supply and its ability to accommodate new energy resources.
Australia performed well in the efficiency and innovation pillars due to low electricity transmission and distribution losses, as well as high levels of energy R&D investment, respectively.
Spain has a balanced performance across all three pillars and demonstrated strength in efficiency and adapting to the pace of technology innovation.
The US performed well in fundamentals due to a high score in the quality of electricity supply as well as efficiency due to low electricity T&D losses. However, it was brought down by a low innovation pillar score.
Water resourceful countries
The top water resourceful countries are Australia, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom and Germany.
The research reveals that these countries tend to have high levels of water meter penetration and low levels of non-revenue water.
Australia performed strongly across all three pillars and was ranked the strongest in efficiency as a result of having the largest meter market per capita and low proportion of non-revenue water. It also ranked highest in innovation, given the high level of government investment in environmental R&D.
Canada also performed well in all three pillars, with the strongest fundamentals and the second strongest efficiency. Canada maximizes its ample water resources by harnessing hydropower to generate approximately 60% of its electricity.
Japan excelled in efficiency, while the UK performed strongly in the fundamental and efficiency pillars, driven by waste and wastewater coverage rates, as did Germany.
Commenting on these findings, Philip Mezey, Itron president and CEO, said: “Moving forward, success will be determined even more by how well countries are able to manage the resources available to them.”
Itron don’t detail the resourcefulness indexes found for the 16 countries studied (or the countries themselves) and such data would be of interest in building a broader picture of resourcefulness. The concept would also appear to offer potential for benchmarking and for example, to states or regions to identify the most promising locations to build out smart cities.