UNEZA cop28

EDP joins global power utilities in an action plan to drive energy transition at COP28

Tuesday 05, December 2023
  • The companies formed the ‘Utilities for Net Zero Alliance’ (UNEZA) at COP28 for global cooperation.
  • EDP is amongst more than 20 leading utility companies, like Iberdrola, Enel, Engie and RWE, among others, that join forces with IRENA and the UN High-Level Climate Champions.

A group of 31 global partners, including 25 utilities and power companies that serve nearly 250 million customers, have come together to make a significant joint commitment towards promoting electrification, renewable energy-ready grids, and clean energy deployment. This commitment is in line with the 2030 Breakthrough goals and aims to achieve a net-zero future by 2050. EDP is one of the partners in this alliance.

Global industry giants, regional utilities, developers, and power system technology leaders from across the world endorsed today a ‘UAE Declaration of Action’ at COP28 in Dubai, aligning a significant share of the global electricity community with the COP28 Action Agenda objective of fast-tracking a just and orderly energy transition.

The companies formed the ‘Utilities for Net Zero Alliance’ (UNEZA) as a vehicle for implementation and requested the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to lead the secretariat. The utility companies will work to address impediments to the net zero pathway framed within IRENA’s World Energy Transitions Outlook and reflected in the 2030 Breakthroughs led by the UN High-Level Climate Champions.

The announcement represents a significant new framework for global cooperation among the entities within the power system value chain. Its primary focus is on promoting the accelerated adoption of renewables and building the necessary infrastructure. It also offers a platform for joint efforts to address supply chain bottlenecks, support the flow of capital to the power sector transformation in the global south, and engage with policymakers and regulators.  

“The emergency of energy transition highlights the relevance of tripling renewable power capacity by 2030 as the most viable means to sustain the 1.5°C limit. Therefore, it is crucial to adopt and accelerate the use of renewables, which requires collective efforts to overcome current infrastructure challenges by modernizing and enhancing power grids, transmission, and distribution lines”, says Rui Teixeira, CFO of EDP. “Utilities such as EDP are leading this transformative journey, which requires significant investments and collaboration to achieve interconnectivity, flexibility, and balance, all of which are essential for meeting the climate goals outlined in the Paris Agreement.”

Led by the UAE’s Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), one of the largest listed integrated utilities in Europe, Middle East and Africa, founding entities also include, besides EDP, Bui Power Authority, DEWA, DLO Energy, EDF, E.ON, Enel, Engie, Etihad Water and Electricity, Hitachi Energy, Iberdrola, Jinko Power, KEGOC, KenGen, Masdar, National Grid, Octopus Energy, RWE, Schneider Electric, Siemens, SSE, Tenaga, Uniper and Xlinks. The Alliance will be facilitated by strategic partners IRENA and the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions. The World Economic Forum (WEF), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), Global Renewables Alliance and Coordinador Eléctrico Nacional, will support as ecosystem partners.

Plan of action

Members of UNEZA recognise that the key to unlocking the utility sector’s global energy transition potential lies in the ability to deliberately target existing structural, regulatory, and financial impediments and challenges that may stand in the way of progress.

Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, reinforces that “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. We look forward to working on the design and delivery of the action plan during COP28 and beyond and invite utilities worldwide to join this community and demonstrate a commitment to action.”

Also, Francesco La Camera IRENA Director-General, says that “tripling renewable power capacity by 2030 is the most realistic way to keep 1.5°C alive. To accelerate the deployment of renewables, we need concerted action to overcome existing infrastructure barriers through the modernization and upgrade of power grids, as well as transmission and distribution lines that enable the fast electrification of the system. The utilities sector is at the frontline of this modernization."

Members will, therefore, work proactively to address the barriers through global cooperation, knowledge development and public-private consultations facilitated by IRENA, WEF, and the High-Level Champions and other ecosystem partners.

UNEZA will develop a plan of action to mitigate macro energy transition challenges including:

  • Capital mobilization
  • Supply chain de-risking
  • Capabilities and talent building
  • Facilitating policy and regulatory support

The Alliance invites companies to join the common vision of accelerating the energy transition. The membership is open to utilities, developers, power system technology companies and knowledge partners determined to expedite the transition towards a net zero future by 2050.

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