ELECTRIFICATION IS THE LOW-CARBON FUTURE | GSEP at Climate Week NYC

Times Square, New York City

Electricity is the central energy vector to reach decarbonisation in all energy systems, with benefits that go well beyond CO2 reductions. GSEP held an event around the challenges and enablers of electrification at Climate Week NYC on Wednesday, September 21, 2022. Program below. 

09:00 – 09:30Registration and breakfast
09:30 – 10:30

Catalyzing electrification through stronger alliances

Electrification can provide significant economic, environmental, and social benefits. It has been identified as one of the key enablers of the energy transition towards decarbonization. Yet we’re not progressing fast enough, with the pace of change remaining far from required to meet local and global climate goals. Increased interaction and synergy between stakeholders is needed to unlock new business cases and propel a sustainable energy transition through electrification. What role can utilities play in supporting their customers through the electrification of their industries?  What are the hurdles faced by business leaders in decarbonizing their activities? How can policymakers and decision makers help advance low-carbon electrification?

The Catalyzing Electrification Accord was launched during this panel discussion.

10:30 – 11:00Coffee break
11:00 – 13:00

Decarbonizing Cities, an Electrification Dialogue

Cities account for nearly two-thirds of the CO2 emissions globally, but local governments are making increasingly bold commitments to reduce their carbon footprint and create value for their communities. Considering buildings contribute to a significant amount of CO2 emissions, what are the main challenges faced in electrifying the built environment? How can the infrastructure needed to sustain electric mobility development be deployed? What role can energy efficiency and circularity play in the transition towards decarbonized cities?

A roundtable with interactive conversation between speakers and guests. 

13:00 – 14:00Lunch
14:00 – 15:30

Securing a Clean Power Future

Electrification must go hand-in-hand with the decarbonization of the power sector to achieve the Paris agreement goals globally. As we face the current energy crisis, how can we swiftly phase-out the most polluting fossil fuels while maintaining energy security? What challenges are faced by grid operators in integrating large renewable energy sources? Can the deployment of low-carbon technologies ensure a stable and secure decarbonized power sector?

This panel discussion featured a short presentation of GSEP’s Global Electrification Monitor.

Joining Forces to Accelerate Electrification in Africa: A joint GSEP-APUA Dialogue

Electrification is a key factor to catalyze economic and social development on the African continent. All actors of the value chain must work together to accelerate electrification and unlock its benefits for all. What role do utilities play in increasing access to electricity? What are the main enablers to ensure clean technology development and implementation benefits all communities? How can collaboration between different stakeholders (utilities, technology developers, governments, end-users, etc.) lead to advancing low-carbon energy access?

A virtual Electrification Dialogue – gathering members from the GSEP and the Association of Power Utilities of Africa (APUA) – was held to share experiences on how to accelerate much-needed electrification and identify technologies and policy enablers to face the challenges involved. The Dialogue was a small, invitation-only event aimed at bringing together experts engaged in electrification. 

AGENDA

9:00 – 9:05 

Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Vincent-Michel Duval, Executive Director, GSEP
  • Papa Mademba Biteye, President, APUA
9:05 – 9:55 

Discussion 1 – THE ROLE OF UTILITIES IN ACHIEVING A NET-ZERO WORLD

INTRODUCTION AND MODERATOR:

  • Andrea Gattini, Head of Business Development – Africa and Middle East, Enel

Utilities are essential players to achieve a clean energy economy. Collaboration between utilities, industry leaders and decision makers is essential to unlock the environmental, economic and social benefits of clean electrification for our communities. How can utilities support their clients and customers in their transition towards a net-zero future?

09:55 – 10:45 

Discussion 2 – CATALYZING CLEAN ENERGY INNOVATION IN AFRICA

INTRODUCTION AND MODERATOR:

  • Abel Didier Tella, Director General, Assocication of Power Utilities of Africa (APUA)

With its rich energy resources and rapidly growing population, Africa has the potential to develop clean energy at large scale as it seeks to pursue sustainable economic and social development. What are the enablers and hurdles to achieve a clean and cost-effective energy supply in Africa, to accelerate the construction of electricity infrastructure in Africa and to promote the industrialization, urbanization and regional integration of Africa?

10:45 – 10:50 

Closing remarks

  • Khalil Lagtari, Cooperation and Partnerships Director, ONEE

Decarbonizing Electricity Generation at the 7th AUE Conference

As the world faces an unprecedented climate crisis, utilities face the need to further integrate variable renewable energy (VRE) into electric grids to meet their customers’ climate goals and the growing demand associated with increased electrification. How can grids be modernized to keep up with the rapid and deep changes taking place in the power industry at the international, national and regional levels? What impact does integration of VRE have for both clients and utilities?

GSEP held an Electrification Dialogue held as part of the 7th Arab Union of Electricity Conference in Doha on how to further decarbonize electricity generation. The panel discussion was moderated by GSEP’s Executive Director, Mr. Vincent-Michel Duval, and gathered a panel of high-level experts on the topic: 

  • Mr. Ahmed N. Aldohni, Assistant Managing Director for Planning And Bulk Supply, NEPCO (National Electric Power Company – Jordan)
  • Dr. Houda Allal, General Director, OME (Observatoire Méditerranéen de l’Énergie)
  • Mr. Abdul Nasser Al Athram, Director, General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL)
  • Mr. Kamal Htoute, Director – Strategy and Planning, ONEE
  • Ms. Paula Riveros, Country Manager , Enel Green Power Morocco

Electrification Dialogue: Strategies and opportunities to fast-track transport electrification

Watch a recording of GSEP’s Electrification Dialogue: Strategies and opportunities to fast-track transport electrification, held during Climate Week NYC on Friday, September 24, 2021.

Electrification of end uses is increasingly recognized as a crucial step on the pathway to decarbonize the economy and achieve the world’s development and climate goals. It allows for a high potential in carbon emission reduction due to the greater efficiency of electricity-based technologies and a growing share of zero-carbon energy sources in electricity generation.

Transportation is one of the key sectors where electrification needs to accelerate in order to unlock environmental, social and economic benefits for our businesses and communities. This session will delve into concrete experiences and actions advancing transportation electrification and explore how different actors of the value chain need to work together to achieve the energy transition. 

Organized as part of Climate Week NYC

Report launch “Building the electrification alliance: Bridging along and across value chains”

GSEP held a virtual Electrification Dialogue to mark the launch of the report “Building the electrification alliance: Bridging along and across value chains” on December 2.

The report explores and identifies how sustainable electrification partnerships are in many cases already a game changer, helping to improve the way we use energy every day in crucial sectors such as transport, buildings and industry. It draws on first-hand insights from some of the most relevant partnerships GSEP members are building along power value chains around the world. When the right enablers are in place, the potential of such partnerships in providing a wide range of multiple benefits to societies and the environment is enormous.

The event included a presentation of the main findings of the report, followed by a panel discussion on successful examples of sustainable electrification partnerships. Watch it now: 

Electrifying for a decarbonized future at the Global Climate Action Summit

Key objectives:

  • High-level roundtable discussion on how cross-sector collaboration can create the necessary conditions to accelerate electrification.

  • Exchange cutting-edge information on electrification technologies, new business models, innovative public policies, and the benefits of electrification for the environment and customers

At the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, we organized a high-level roundtable discussion on electrification and decarbonization.

Led by member companies EDF, Enel and Hydro-Québec, our dialogue brought together utilities, policymakers, regulators, end-use industries, technology developers, labour unions, and environmental groups. Participants exchanged cutting-edge information on electrification technologies, new business models, innovative public policies, and the benefits of electrification for the environment and customers.

The discussions focused on how cross-sector collaboration can create the necessary conditions to accelerate electrification. Participants agreed that electrification is an absolutely vital pathway to decarbonize energy. By 2050, electricity is predicted to become the world’s leading energy source. We will need to shift gears in order to harness its power and benefits for the climate.

Here are some of the key discussion takeaways:

  • The electricity space is changing very rapidly. Utilities explained how they are moving away from traditional business models and embracing collaboration with new partners like the transport, buildings, and industry sectors, start-ups, research centers etc.
  • Electrification of end-uses is a central pillar of the energy transition. Companies believe that this revolution is going to happen quickly, driven by consumers’ diverse concerns (e.g. emissions, air quality, and security of supply)
  • Accelerating innovation in technologies (e.g. energy storage) will be critical to decarbonizing the energy sector and end-uses. Participants presented current initiatives to implement electricity technologies in other industries.
  • Massive electrification is linked to the digital revolution. This cross-sector synergy is helping to drive down costs of new technologies and services
  • Comprehensive policy reforms will be needed to tackle the rapid changes in the electricity sector. Participants discussed innovative public policies in various jurisdictions.
  • Electrification will mean a modal shift in jobs. Ensuring a just transition for labourers and retraining labour forces for the new economy are huge challenges that utilities have already started to address, in collaboration with unions

The roundtable discussion built on a recent GSEP report, “New electricity frontiers: Harnessing the role of low-carbon electricity uses in a digital era”, which presents the common vision of GSEP’s global utilities on electrification. The report documents the actions taken by GSEP member companies to implement electrification and key policy enablers that could accelerate these initiatives.

Photo credit: Rebecca Wilkowski Photography

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PARTICIPATING MEMBERS AND PARTNERS

  • EDF
  • Enel
  • Hydro-Québec

Accelerating the pathway to an electrified future at the EUSEW

  • Cross-industry dialogue focused on sharing perspectives on the challenges facing electrification and the policy enablers needed to accelerate global action
On June 17, 2019, the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP) and Eurelectric with the support of EDF, Enel, Hydro-Québec and State Grid Corporation of China, concluded a high-level roundtable discussion on electrification as part of the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) in Brussels. This Electrification Dialogue brought together electric utilities, technology developers, policymakers, end-use industries, and other energy-sector players to openly share their learnings and perspectives on electrification. Discussions focused on the technological and policy enablers that could accelerate electrification’s progress, as well as how coordinated efforts along the whole electricity value chain can accelerate electrification as a key vector for decarbonizing the economy. Participants shared experiences from across Europe, Canada, China, Japan and the USA. The main messages which came out of the discussion are:
  • There is a consensus (IPCC, IEA, EU 2050 scenarios) on the key role electricity has to play to tackle climate change. Electricity is an efficient and flexible energy carrier and can provide a significant reduction in overall energy consumption, as well as flexibility in demand management between sectors by coupling power, heat and mobility.

  • Clearly, we are not on track. Electrification is progressing, but at rates that are far from sufficient. Ambition of national policies needs to increase and electrification’s pace needs to double to be in line with a 2°C target. A key condition for this is a clear and shared long-term vision across all sectors, with straightforward electrification roadmaps. Low-carbon electrification should be prioritized now using technologies that are available today.

  • A systemic approach to energy systems is key to accelerating electrification and ensuring optimal system-wide solutions. This requires stakeholder engagement and technological solutions that bridge across sectors and along value chains. Affordable electricity is a crucial enabler. Efficient electrification requires a fair competition between energy carriers, especially on taxes, and taking into account environmental externalities via a carbon value.

  • Investments in infrastructure development and digitalization are an important catalyzer for market transformation and rapidly increase the economic and social benefits of electrification while ensuring security of supply and system resilience.
Enabling, systemic public policies are crucial to accelerating electrification. These must be coupled with increased public awareness of the role that sustainable electricity can play in efficiently decarbonizing the economy, as well as the economic and social benefits of electrification. The roundtable discussion built on GSEP’s report, “New electricity frontiers: Harnessing the role of low-carbon electricity uses in a digital era”, which presents the common vision of GSEP’s global utilities on electrification. The report documents the actions taken by GSEP member companies to implement electrification and key policy enablers that could accelerate these initiatives. GSEP’s Electrification Dialogues are a series of global conferences engaging stakeholders in the power industry in mutual learning experiences to accelerate electrification as a vital pathway for decarbonization.

PARTICIPATING MEMBERS AND PARTNERS

  • Eurelectric 
  • EDF
  • Enel
  • Hydro-Québec
  • State Grid Corporation of China