2018 GSEP Summit concludes in Paris
The Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership’s (GSEP) annual CEO Summit ended today in Paris, France. This flagship event, hosted by the GSEP’s 2017-2018 Chair Company, EDF, brought together CEOs and senior executives of some of the world’s largest electricity companies. These leaders agreed that GSEP will be the global platform for electrification and innovation to help them and allied companies satisfy their customers' demands for reliable, affordable, and clean energy. The CEOs issued a public report documenting these economic, environmental, and climate benefits through examples of digitalization that they have deployed. The report includes a list of enablers supporting public policies to accelerate the delivery of these end-use benefits for customers.
"Electricity is the energy of tomorrow’s world, with a unique set of qualities that make it indispensable to meeting the growing need for reliable, affordable and clean energy," said Jean-Bernard Lévy, CEO of EDF. "We can shift gears by promoting the electrification of end-uses in all sectors. In order to reach zero net carbon emissions in the second half of the century, the efficient and cost-effective electrification of end-uses must be enhanced at the same time as the power mix is decarbonized, in order to avoid lock-in effects and stranded investments from the overdevelopment of fossil-fuel infrastructures."
Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, delivered an address at the Summit. Other high-level speakers included Nobel-prize-winning economist, Jean Tirole, who spoke on the economy of climate, and former French Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hubert Védrine, who spoke on the geopolitical dynamics of energy, supporting GSEP's electrification vision. Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, CEO of Accor Hotels, Sébastien Bazin, and Managing Director of AlixPartners, Laurent Pétizon, moderated CEO roundtable debates on global electrification trends and forecasts, digitalization, and electric mobility.
The GSEP Chairmen closed the event with the issuance of the Paris Summit Statement, which outlines the group’s positioning on efficient electrification of end-uses and the steps that governments could take to successfully accelerate adaptation of innovative electricity technologies. Electricity will become the world’s leading energy source by 2050, according to most projections, with a share in final energy demand that should double, from 18% today to about 36% in 2050. This represents a major shift in the energy sector. As long as electricity prices are kept affordable, and bearing in mind the current decreases in electricity technology costs, higher electrification rates should be possible, reaching over 50% of final energy by 2050.
The group also publicly released its 2017-2018 Annual Report, which highlights its key accomplishments for the year.
Next year’s Summit will be hosted in Japan by Kansai Electric Power Company, focusing on the theme of electrification and the challenges faced by utilities.