The 2019 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP 25, ended with calls for greater ambition in helping the world meet the climate challenge. In response, electric power industry leaders from across the globe are reaffirming their commitment to lead the clean energy transformation through ongoing reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and to help other sectors transition to clean, efficient electric energy.
The major electric power industry associations representing North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia, are calling for accelerating electrification, particularly of the transportation and the industrial sectors, to help reduce CO2 emissions globally. The electric power sector recognizes that a significant increase in electrification is an indispensable part of the clean energy transition worldwide.
Thomas R. Kuhn, President of the Edison Electric Institute, addressed the opportunities brought by electrification in multiple sectors, from transportation to industrial processes: “As an industry, we are committed to getting as clean as we can, as fast as we can, while keeping electricity affordable and reliable for our customers. In addition, by accelerating industrial and transportation electrification, we can leverage the already ongoing emissions reductions in our sector to meet carbon reduction goals and to build a cleaner and stronger economy for the future.”
Susumu Tsukiyama, Vice Chairman of the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan (FEPC), emphasized the importance of customized strategies, saying: “On the clean energy journey, many pathways can lead to the same collective result. We recognize the actions that lead to greater decarbonization will vary depending on political, social, economic, and regional circumstances. Importantly, electric companies worldwide are implementing customized strategies that align with their individual circumstances to reduce carbon emissions without compromising on the reliability, affordability, or security that are essential to customers.”
Francis Bradley, President and CEO of the Canadian Electricity Association, added: “We need to enable investments in all types of zero and low-carbon fuels and technologies, including hydropower, small modular reactors, and energy storage to support the integration of variable resources. This would not only help us provide safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity, but also contribute to decarbonizing other sectors, such as transportation, in the long term.”
Energy Networks Australia CEO Andrew Dillon and Australian Energy Council Chief Executive Sarah McNamara said: “With the rapid growth in large scale renewable generation, the energy sector is innovating to not only address technical challenges, but give customers greater choices about how they use energy. Our role is crucial in progressing the transition to a clean energy future.”
Highlighting the importance of international cooperation, Kristian Ruby, Secretary General of Eurelectric, stated: “We will work together to develop sound policies to help advance global electrification. For example, we will work towards accelerating electric transportation through infrastructure development for electric vehicle charging and technical cooperation. We also will continue to invest in smarter energy infrastructure enabled by digitization, automation, and demand management using advanced communications networks.”
Over the coming 18 months the sector will develop detailed roadmaps for how electrification can help their respective countries deliver on their long-term decarbonization goals. The roadmaps will be presented at the International Electricity Summit in Norway in September 2021.
Note to editors:
The International Electricity Summit is the global forum that examines the main issues and challenges faced by the sector in the spirit of cooperation and goodwill. The IES brings together electricity industry CEOs from around the globe every 18 months. The next Summit will take place in Norway in September 2021.
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