Renewables

Global utilities vow to scale renewables capacity by 2.5 times by 2030

Global utilities scale renewables capacity 2 5 times 2030

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Published

April 22, 2024

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Published:

April 22, 2024

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The Utilities for Net Zero Alliance published an action plan to accelerate grid investment and vowed to boost its members’ overall renewable energy capacity by 2.5 times to 749 GW by 2030.

The Utilities for Net Zero Alliance (UNEZA) adopted a grid infrastructure action plan of USD 720 billion per year, for power grids and flexibility, at the 14th Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). In addition, its new roadmap targets a total increase of renewable energy capacity within the group’s portfolio to 749 GW by 2030, or 2.5 times relative to 2023.

The electricity networks pledge addresses the pressing need to scale and modernize the infrastructure to support clean power development and the tripling of renewables by 2030, the announcement reads. The overall goal is to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

However, several daily and monthly benchmark rolling averages show that the average ambient temperature on Earth has already increased by at least 1.6 degrees from the pre-industrial average, a period from 1850 to 1900.

The heads of UNEZA’s members urged decision makers and regulators to engage the industry to clear bottlenecks and unlock capital flows in the grid investment sphere. It said de-risking supply chains is another critical area.

Renewables goal can only be met with infrastructure modernization

The shift towards a renewables-based energy system is accelerating, and with the adoption of a global goal to triple renewable power capacity by 2030 at COP28, this trend is expected to intensify, IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera said. IRENA’s World Energy Transitions Outlook shows that this goal will be met only with the modernization of infrastructure designed for the fossil fuel era to more interconnected and flexible systems that support renewables, he pointed out.

Launched at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP28, UNEZA is led by Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. (TAQA) of the United Arab Emirates.

Utilities are key for mitigation measures

Founding entities include Bui Power Authority, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), DLO Energy, EDF, EDP, Edison International, E.ON, Etihad Water and Electricity, Enel, KEGOC, Engie, KenGen, Hitachi Energy, National Grid, Iberdrola, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Jinko Power, SSE Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co. (Masdar), Octopus Energy, RWE, Tenaga, Schneider Electric, Xlinks, Siemens and Uniper. Green Grids Initiative and ACWA Power are recent new additions to the community.

“Utilities play a crucial role in delivering mitigation measures that align global development with a net-zero future and are central to a future energy system that is in harmony with nature and the environment. Building on the momentum from COP28, we are advancing the design and implementation of our action plan and call on utilities around the world to join this initiative, showcasing their ongoing commitment to meaningful action,” said President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and United Nations Climate Change High-Level Champion Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak.

She is also the managing director of Environment Agency Abu Dhabi and the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund.

“Our combined plans for accelerating renewables deployment will go a long way towards achieving our 2030 goal, but we also know that utilities can’t do it alone. We also need to build resilient supply chains that can meet this surge in demand, and we need bold enabling policy and regulatory mechanisms to investments and accelerate the speed at which we can build,” said Chief Commercial Officer of SSE Martin Pibworth, who co-chairs the organization.

Membership in UNEZA is open to utilities, developers, power system technology companies and knowledge partners determined to expedite the transition towards a net zero future by 2050, IRENA said.

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