Utilities for Net-Zero Alliance: Businesses unite behind new energy transition action plan

The companies have formed the Utilities for Net-Zero Alliance (UNEZA) as a new framework to enhance global cooperation among the industry players within the power system value chain.

The Alliance aims to promote accelerated adoption of renewables and building the necessary infrastructure.

Additionally, it serves as a collaborative platform to tackle supply chain obstacles, facilitate capital influx into the power sector transformation in developing regions, and engage with policymakers and regulators.

It will be led by the UAE’s Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), a major listed integrated utilities business with operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Other founding members include Bui Power Authority, DEWA, DLO Energy, EDF, EDP, 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 the International Renewable Energy Agency (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.

The secretariat will be headed by the IRENA to tackle barriers obstructing the net-zero pathway outlined in IRENA’s World Energy Transitions Outlook and echoed in the 2030 Breakthroughs directed by the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions.

COP28’s UN Climate Change High-Level Champion H.E. Razan Al Mubarak said: “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.

“The High-Level Champions are proud to partner with IRENA. TAQA and the founding members of UNEZA to deliver ambitious decarbonisation efforts and increase the resilience of the energy system. 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.”

Tackling the major challenges

The members of UNEZA recognise that unlocking the global energy transition potential in the utility sector hinges on deliberately targeting existing structural, regulatory and financial obstacles.

They aim to address these barriers through global cooperation, knowledge enhancement and public-private consultations.

UNEZA plans to devise a strategy to alleviate major energy transition challenges, including capital mobilisation, mitigating supply chain risks, fostering talent development and aiding policy and regulatory support.

TAQA’s group chief executive director Jasim Husain Thabet said: “Utilities are on the frontlines of global energy sector transformation, and as such we recognise the responsibility we hold to lead our respective national climate action agendas.

“This global initiative responds to the COP28 action agenda and demonstrates a determination from the sector to accelerate the energy transition through collaboration, partnership and a clear focus on addressing the current challenges.”

Last week, more than 100 countries signed up to a commitment to keep the 1.5C pathway of the Paris Agreement alive at COP28 by pledging to triple global renewable capacity and doubling energy efficiency by 2030.

The Alliance is extending an invitation to companies in the utilities, developer, power system technology sectors and knowledge partners, in a bid to hasten the transition.

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