In June of 1991, Mr. Pierre Delaporte, then Chairman of Electricité de France, and Mr. Richard Drouin, then CEO and Chairman of Hydro-Québec, expressed their concern at the lack of international cohesion within the electric utility community regarding global issues. The following April (1992), they invited the Chairmen of some of the largest electric utilities of G7 countries to create an international group. Their first Summit took place at Hydro-Québec’s James Bay hydroelectric complex.
During that first meeting, the Chairmen set the basic principle of our organization as follows:
"As citizens of the world, in harmony with the respective national governments as well as related domestic and international organizations, the [member] companies strongly wish that their experience, competence, and know-how should serve more efficient generation and use of the world’s electric energy."
(James Bay Joint Statement, April 1992)
To fulfill their vision, the Chairmen created the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership in 1992, at the time under the name of e7 Network of Expertise for the Global Environment.
The establishment of partnerships with beneficiaries from developing countries and international organizations was undertaken to give birth to the first of our activities.
In 2001, the Education for Sustainable Energy Development Scholarship Program was established to support outstanding master’s students from developing or emerging countries in their pursuit of advanced studies in sustainable energy development and to encourage meaningful contributions to the collective body of knowledge on the subject.
In June 2006, the e7 became the e8, an international organization representing leading electricity companies from the G8 countries, after the Russian electricity company, RAO UESR (now RusHydro), joined the group.
On April 11, 2007, the organization was incorporated and became a non-profit and non-governmental organization registered under Part II of the Canada Corporations Act.
The year 2010 marked an important milestone for the Partnership. In order to strengthen international collaboration on sustainable energy development, the membership was opened to counterparts from the major emerging economies. That year, Eletrobras from Brazil was welcomed as a new member, followed in 2011 by Eskom Holdings (South Africa) and State Grid Corporation of China (China), as well as Comisión Federal de Electricidad (Mexico) in 2012.
To reflect its truly global mission to support sustainable energy development, in June 2011 the organisation adopted its new name: Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership.