Electrification for our future

Global leaders come together in GSEP annual summit to share perspectives and benefits on accelerating beneficial electrifications

Published on MAY 28, 2021

GSEP’s 2021 Summit: unlocking beneficial electrification

On May 26, 2021, policymakers, technology developers, energy suppliers, business leaders and CEOs from the largest energy and utilities companies across the globe came together for the Global Sustainable Energy Partnership first-ever public and entirely virtual annual CEO meeting to discuss forging the path forward towards unlocking the benefits of beneficial electrification and unveil the findings of a customer-driven global independent study. The voices of more than 100 sector leaders from transport, industry and building industries and representing 10 countries were featured guests in a series of live and pre-recorded panels and shedding light on the pace of electrification around the world and the underlying drivers and barriers.

 

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Electrification Discussion Sessions

Master of Ceremony Jeffrey Ball, award-winning writer on energy and the environment, Stanford University scholar-in-residence, introduced this ground-breaking study with speakers Francesco Venturini, CEO, Enel X and Nick Akins, CEO, American Electric Power. The opening session introduced the GSEP study on electrification of end users and called on the group’s business leaders to identify the conditions needed to accelerate beneficial electrification of energy usage in their respective sectors and unlock its full benefits for their customers, local communities, employees and businesses. The bottom line being that both energy providers and end users must work together to achieve a cleaner energy sector and ensure an equitable energy transition.

Social advancement and energy transition

After examining the role of the USA and how its congress is rapidly bringing innovative technologies into the clean energy transition, the live dialogue Driving social advancement through the energy transition posited different points of view on achieving conditions for successful energy transition that guarantee long-term benefits for society. 

The conversation identified initiatives most helpful to accelerate electrification and move away from fossil fuels. Initiatives include increasing decarbonized and reliable electricity supply, improving electric solutions so that they are more economic and affordable and creating more incentive schemes and regulations that will further encourage transition.

 Additionally, they confirmed that energy providers are the partner of choice in the movement to accelerate electrification and capture its benefits. Likewise, governments will play a key role via targeted regulations aimed at leveling the playing field with other fuels and strategic policies that accurately incorporate carbon costs into the market price.

Electric bus project in Lima

Sector leaders and end users agree that the benefits of electrification are vast, from reduction of carbon footprint and decrease of local noise and air pollution, to improved energy performance and positive working environment and experiences. 

An important example is the e-Bus project in Lima, Peru. Launched in 2016 and implemented in 2019 under the leadership of GSEP member companies Hydro-Québec and Enel X, the project introduced an electric bus and charging infrastructure into Lima’s municipal transit system to evaluate e-bus viability and replicability. By collecting real time data, researchers analyzed costs, as well as operation, social, economic, and environmental benefits of transportation electrification, and thus were able demystify the e-bus technology for local policymakers, transit operators and riders. Giving support to the Peruvian government, the project has forged the path for electric mobility technology into Peru.

 Electric Public Transportation

Electric Public Transportation

Zero-emissions mobility for sustainable cities

Accelerate the momentum

A series of individual pre-recorded one-on-one interviews concluded the sessions and brought forth varying stakeholder perspectives on the importance of identifying key enablers and barriers to achieve and further electrification of businesses and industries. Representatives from sectors such as transportation, industrial manufacturing, and building sectors are in agreement that electrification acceleration can upgrade, transform and innovate not only energy transition, technologies but also social advancement.
Enel X’s Venturini and AEP’s Akins returned to center stage in closing remarks that underlined the importance of coming together to offer a consolidated view on what it takes to create optimum conditions to drive electrification across sectors and unlock its benefits for all. And with the commitment of the GSEP community to continue to push the momentum towards accelerating the energy transition together and for all by sharing expertise with the world.