Energy for ecodevelopment

HELIO's contribution


With the increasing threat of climate change impacts, the SEW indicators were enlarged to include indicators that measured the vulnerability of energy systems to climate change and analysed the capacity of adaptation and resilience (VAR) of a country, thereby also evaluating the need for improved governance. This second set of indicators was called VAR indicators.

Quick overview

  • Date of creation

  • Number of reports

  • Related countries


What is VAR?

The goal of the VAR methodology is to help policy makers understand what issues need to be addressed in order to ensure energy security and access in a changing climate regime. This indicator set measures how robust a particular energy system is in the face of anticipated climate change impacts.

The resilience of a country’s energy systems is underpinned by at least two key elements:

1. its inherent vulnerability to climate events
2. its intrinsic sustainability, i.e. its level of ecodevelopment

In order to better understand how to improve the ability of energy systems to withstand climate change impacts it is therefore important to:
• identify the vulnerabilities of a particular energy system;
• measure how resilient that system is; and
• identify what can be done to increase resilience.

VAR is composed of two sets of energy-related indicators:
• one set measures the country’s specific, climate-induced vulnerabilities; and
• the other looks at individual energy systems, assess its vulnerability and identifies how resilience can be increased.

These indicators cover economic, social, technological, environmental and governance issues. This practical tool measures the effectiveness of adaptation policies addressing such issues as energy generation, health, water quality, desertification, loss of productive capacity etc.

Energy experts in ten sub-Saharan African countries have applied these indicators. A global analysis sums up the key findings from these ten reports and outlines global recommendations for improving energy systems.

As part of this work, HELIO was invited to contribute to a NATO publication titled Management of Weather and Climate Risk in the Energy Industry. This publication looks at how weather and climate information provide important elements in policy/decision making within the energy sector. HELIO’s contribution looked at the how indicators can be used to improve communication on energy system vulnerability.

The VAR project is a further development of HELIO’s 2007 report: A preliminary assessment of energy and ecosystem resilience in ten African countries.

To access the above mentioned publications, scroll down to RELATED PUBLICATIONS, located below the interactive map.

Reports around the world

Related publications

Global report


Our system of indicators