Lebanon and Belarus come last in Euromonitor’s inaugural Global Energy Vulnerability Index, as both countries lack resources and struggle with energy efficiency (despite a recent boom in solar power uptake across Lebanon)

The index, which ranks countries based on the ability to handle energy shocks in the global market, used six groups of indicators to measure each country’s level of energy vulnerability: energy self-sufficiency, alternatives to fossils, energy reserves potential, energy accessibility, energy efficiency, economic resilience.

Norway, Canada, Australia and the US rank at the top of the index due to their strong energy self-sufficiency, ample energy resources, diverse energy mix and high economic resilience.

Belarus and Lebanon rank at the bottom as both countries “lack energy resources and struggle with poor energy efficiency and economic uncertainty,” writes the report.

Singapore and Hong Kong also rank among the bottom 10 performers because of their heavy reliance on energy imports, despite their good score in energy efficiency and economic stability. The smaller size of Singapore and Hong Kong also limits renewables capacity, adding to the city-states’ weaknesses.

“Overall, economies that are heavily reliant on imports, with low adoption of renewables, weak energy efficiency and economic instability are more vulnerable to energy risks,” says Aleksandra Svidler, consultant for economies at Euromonitor International.

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“Many [emerging markets] continue to grapple with underdeveloped infrastructure, poor access to reliable and affordable energy and low investment while developing Asian economies continue to struggle with low self-sufficiency rates, high dependency on fossil fuels and limited access to capital,” she adds.

Understanding a country or a region’s vulnerability to energy shocks will inform business strategy and enable an optimal plan for energy sourcing, as well as help to identify the white spaces for investment.