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Sector Integration Is Essential for Decarbonization

Pritil Gunjan
Dec 12, 2019

Overhead Power Lines 2

If global economies adhere to the 1.5°C limit recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), $18.6 trillion of cumulative investments in energy must shift from conventional fossil-fired generation to clean, low carbon technologies. To achieve this shift to clean energy technologies, an additional investment of $110 trillion is needed in the energy sector by 2050, compared to $95 trillion currently planned. While the scale of these investments sounds enormous, it is believed that the cost of climate-proofing the global energy mix is still low compared to the cost of inaction. The industry must launch a joint effort and increase collaboration and participation in this transformational decarbonization journey. 

Suppliers and End Users Collaborate at Utility Week

Francesco La Camera, director general for the International Renewable Energy Agency, kicked off the European Utility Week and POWERGEN Europe 2019. He summarized his presentation and the industry’s unified view in his last two words: ‘’Join Me.’’ This is the first time that European Utility Week and POWERGEN have joined forces and operated as a co-located event under new management, Clarion Events. The objective was to bring suppliers and end users to a single integrated event to collaborate on various facets of the energy transition. True to its objective, there were multiple hub sessions underway at the exhibition floor, such as distributed generation, life cycle management, energy revolution, energy markets, and digitization. Each session focused on a core area of the energy transition and the industry’s integrated perspectives to manage disruptions across the value chain. 

Decarbonization was an important theme across the summit sessions. The closing keynote panel, moderated by James Watson, the secretary general of Eurogas, gathered industry leaders to discuss the future of gas in a decarbonized Europe. A key takeaway was the need to remove silos between the gas and electricity industry and to support sector integration and collaboration. The panel reiterated the message that decarbonization cannot be achieved in isolation and the world needs to put in a concerted effort in this direction. 

Threat of Climate Change Drives Case for Collaboration

The theme of future collaboration reverberates across all industry stakeholders. Mitigating climate change and achieving long-term sustainability are the underlying drivers that make this business case compelling. As the global energy sector steps into the next decade, closer sector integration and a unified approach will be a key strategic direction across all boardrooms.