Annual Activity Report By Abderrahim El Hafidi, General Director, ONEE and Chairman of the Board, GSEP
ONÉE is honoured to have become this year the first African and Arab company to hold the chairmanship of the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP), a CEO-led alliance of the world’s largest electricity companies at the forefront of the energy transition and the electrification revolution.
In the past year, GSEP has reinforced its commitment to advancing beneficial electrification, the increased and efficient use of low-carbon electricity in end-use processes in the transportation, building and industry sectors that will accelerate and make possible the achievement of climate, economic development, and social advancement goals.
Our chairmanship year held under the theme “Acting Now to Deliver the Social, Environmental and Economic Benefits of Electrification Worldwide and in Africa” has focused on building bridges and fostering collaboration between GSEP members and stakeholders of the energy sector from all continents.
Building the Electrification Alliance
It has been ONEE’s pleasure to host the GSEP Marrakesh Summit on June 1-2, 2022, where GSEP members finally got to meet again in person and interact with stakeholders of the African energy sector. The Marrakesh Summit was the culmination of a year of opportunities, virtual, hybrid and in-person, to raise awareness of the importance of accelerating electrification and unpack the hurdles faced by communities, businesses and industries when trying to advance the energy transition.
Keeping this objective in mind, a series of Electrification Dialogues were held through the year: at Climate Week NYC on the strategies and opportunities to fast-track transport electrification; at the Arab Union of Electricity conference in Doha on how to further decarbonize electricity generation; and finally, with the Association of Power Utilities of Africa (APUA) to delve into ways of unlocking the environmental, social and economic benefits of electrification for Africa.
Through those activities and its active participation in COP26 in Glasgow, GSEP has reached out to end users, decision makers, policy makers and other like-minded organizations to join forces to ensure a net-zero carbon future.
These connections gave way to the birth of the Strategic Open Dialogue on Electrification (SODE), a unique opportunity to create a committed community of electricity users, providers, and their partners, which will be launched officially in the upcoming months. Our goal is to co-create innovative approaches to respond to and overcome current and future challenges to accelerating electrification for the benefit of end user companies and their employees, customers, and local communities.
Sharing Expertise on Electrification
GSEP’s expertise on electrification has also shined globally this year. The Global Electrification Monitor – a new recurrent publication produced by GSEP – will be launched in September with the aim to follow and explain the spread and pace electrification of end uses globally across sectors (transport, building, and industry) and in selected regions and countries, show where the bottlenecks lie, and identify the unlocks to further acceleration. A sneak peek was published at the occasion of the Marrakesh Summit.
Two pilot projects were also completed this year to support communities in achieving their carbon-reduction goals. The Lima e-bus has been donated to the local transport authority to ensure the continuity of its operation, and a complete replicability study has been given to the Peruvian authorities to support the massification of electrification in the country’s public transit.
Also, the first storage system integrated to Uruguay’s national power grid has been inaugurated last March. This pilot provides local stakeholders with a first hands-on experience on integrating storage to the electric grid, which is a key enabler to further advance low-carbon electrification.
Committed to making knowledge on electrification as accessible as possible, webinars have also been organized on the decarbonization of the Mediterranean energy system through electrification, in collaboration with the Observatoire Méditerranéen de l’Energie (OME); on the future of remotization in the electric power industry, to showcase the outcomes of a white paper produced by GSEP members; and on implementing pilot projects to electrify urban transportation, in collaboration with the Institut de la Francophonie pour le développement durable (IFDD).
This year GSEP has strengthened its commitment to foster the next generation of energy, climate, and electricity sector specialists who will be prepared to tackle the challenges of the future. In addition to the annual scholarships awarded by GSEP to scholars from developing countries studying in sustainable energy development, the Young Ambassadors for Global Electrification program has been launched.
Through training activities and insightful interactions, this program empowers this strong community of 48 young professionals and experts to defend and promote the benefits of sustainable electrification and clean energy development around the globe.
A partnership has also been signed with Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) in Morocco to further promote academic excellence in the field of sustainable energy development. This collaboration gives bright students the opportunity to develop their skills through a training of excellence with curricula oriented towards the future of the African continent and access to an entire ecosystem based on innovation and experimentation.
We are proud of the advancement realized this year and of the connections developed with stakeholders from the African and Arab world. We look forward to keep on chairing the GSEP organization for the year to come.
Abderrahim El Hafidi
General Director, Morocco’s National Office for Electricity and Drinking Water (ONEE) and Chairman of the Board, GSEP