Close international cooperation is paramount for full and effective decarbonization worldwide, which will largely rely on electrification. The major industry associations from North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia are calling for widespread electrification, particularly of the transportation and the industrial sectors, to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally.
Collectively, the electric companies on four continents are committed to the transition to a clean energy future, while keeping electricity affordable, reliable, and secure for customers. The sector recognizes that a dramatic increase in electrification is an indispensable part of that transition.
Thomas R. Kuhn, President of the Edison Electric Institute, addressed the opportunities brought by electrification in multiple sectors, from transportation to industrial processes: “By leveraging renewables and low to zero carbon sources, and energy efficiency, we can help to electrify other economic sectors, and we believe the time is right to advocate for much deeper penetration of electrification worldwide. From transportation to major industrial processes, electrification can transform our economies, save energy, and significantly reduce carbon emissions.”
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.