The Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership, a non-profit organisation whose members are the world’s leading electricity companies, has published a report describing a high-tech enabled global energy mix that could help nations meet climate-related CO2 reduction pledges and the expanding demand for electricity.
The ‘Powering Innovation for a Sustainable Future’ report for the upcoming world climate summit COP21, taking place in Paris from November 30 until December 11, produced by the 11-member Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership describes the outlook for some 50 existing and emerging technologies related to electricity generation.
It outlines electricity-related trends in key regions and countries: Europe, USA, China, Japan, Brazil and India, stressing that an optimal combination of existing and new technologies will vary from country to country, even within geographical regions.
Variables include the structure and state of local and regional electricity systems, the availability of energy resources, the development of industry and the speed at which the less mature technologies improve in terms of performance and cost.
In an open letter, the group’s top executives urge policy makers to embrace four core principles:
1. Establish secure, stable, clear, consistent and long-term policies that address critically important energy, legal/regulatory economic development, financial and environmental matters with the goal of ensuring an adequate supply of cleaner, secure, reliable, accessible and affordable electricity to tackle climate change.
2. Develop a systemic approach to electricity systems which takes into account the interrelations and synergies between the various elements of the electricity value chain, in order to enable electricity providers to plan, design, construct and operate the most advanced electricity systems with the goal of providing cleaner, reliable, sustainable, secure, flexible, and resilient electricity infrastructures.
3. Promote and engage in public-private partnerships that facilitate decision making among electricity providers, government representatives, and private stakeholders and that foster the development and deployment of new commercially available technologies.
4. Make urgent progress with innovative research, development and demonstrations of advances economically viable technologies that will stabilize and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and accelerate the efficient generation, delivery and end-use of electricity.
The executives said: “Together, we are leading the way in the global effort to avoid, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by optimising technologies in the right mix, amount, time and place. By systematically optimising and applying the full portfolio of advanced technologies as they become commercially available, we believe that sustainable progress can be made over time to help meet global climate challenges.”
When it comes to marine renewable energy, the report states that the main technical challenges relate to cost reduction and the use of machines in the marine environment, which poses specific problems in terms of corrosion, operation, and acceptance, and identifies the availability of sites and acceptability as the main challenges for moving the sector forward.
The report concludes that “energy efficiency and technological innovation in the electricity sector are essential to both reduce emissions and improve the quality of life of citizens around the world. COP21 policymakers are well positioned to help accelerate the development and deployment worldwide of energy efficiency measures and of innovative technologies with effective policies.”
The Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership members include American Electric Power (USA), Électricitéde France, Eletrobras (Brazil), ENEL (Italy), EuroSibEnergo (Russia), Hydro-Québec (Canada), Iberdrola (Spain), Kansai Electric Power Company (Japan), RusHydro (Russia), RWE (Germany) and State Grid Corporation of China.