SEWSustainable Energy Watch (SEW)

The first set of policy indicators measured a country or region’s progress towards or movement away from sustainability. This was called the Sustainable Energy Watch (SEW) indicators.

Quick overview

  • Date of creation 1997

  • Number of reports 57

  • Related countries 23

What is SEW ?

SEW is a simple methodology based on ten indicators to evaluate and monitor the contribution of energy systems to global sustainability. Collectively the indicators measure the contribution of a particular energy policy to environmental, social, economic, technical and governance-related sustainability.

SEW uses information that is already available in country. HELIO's approach is that:
• the underlying metric for any indicator must be generally available
• that data collection and vector/indicator calculation must be simple to do
• that qualitative input from the experts on the ground is just as valuable as the numbers generated


The SEW methodology consists of:
1. Defining development
2. Assessing energy contribution
3. Policy issues
4. Approach
5. Indicators
6. Wider application

The first technical workshop to scope out the approach was held in 1998 at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Bangkok. HELIO validated the SEW methodology and indicators at two subsequent meetings; during its 1999 Workshop at the University of Capetown, South Africa and its 2000 workshop in Paris, France.

The SEW works in a decentralised manner through a network of energy experts deployed around the globe and linked by a regional coordinators. The experts’ analysis combines quantitative measurements with qualitative assessments of the local situation: this is the real value-added element of SEW.


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