"Accelerating the pathway to an electrified future" at the EUSEW

 

When: June 17, 2019

Where: Belgium

  • Cross-industry dialogue focused on sharing perspectives on the challenges facing electrification and the policy enablers needed to accelerate global action

When: June 17, 2019

Where: Belgium

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
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