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Power System Transformation at the 3GF Summit 2016

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Power System Transformation at the 3GF Summit 2016

CEM's 21CPP is driving momentum, building leadership, and highlighting policies and good practices to transform global power systems across developed and developing countries. Credit: flickr/WindEurope

To address Sustainable Development Goal 7 (affordable and clean energy), the Clean Energy Ministerial’s (CEM's) 21st Century Power Partnership (21CPP) is driving momentum, building leadership, and highlighting policies and good practices to transform global power systems across developed and developing countries. Since 2011, the 21CPP has brought major players from the public and private sector together at the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF) Summit to drive change. At this year’s 3GF Summit Partnership Session—which took place on 7 June 2016 in Copenhagen, Denmark—speakers from the United States, China, European Union (Denmark), Ukraine, Mexico, and Chile provided global perspectives on the transformation to a more sustainable power system following COP21 and debated the conclusions with about 70 high-level participants. 

The 2016 3GF Partnership Session centered around three major themes: 
  • Global perspectives on good practice policies for transforming the power system 
  • Highlights of the vision for some of largest future power systems post-COP21 and pathways to get there 
  • Discussion of how to optimize different country systems to speed up the transition to a more sustainable power system

“The session gave a clear signal of the value of the Clean Energy Ministerial 21st Century Power Partnership for implementing the INDCs [Intended Nationally Determined Contributions],” said the moderator of the session, Mr. Kamel Ben Naceur, International Energy Agency (IEA) Director of Sustainable Energy Policy and Technology. “The IEA is looking forward to support the partnership in IEA’s proposed new role as host of the CEM Secretariat.”

Renewable energy and energy efficiency together could contribute 65% of emission reductions up to 2035. However, transforming the power system requires massive private and public investment, shifts in regulation, pricing, and market design to create power systems fit for the 21st century that are able to accommodate variable energy sources and enable efficient energy use. “Transforming the power sector away from carbon to clean alternatives is one of the most pressing issues today due to the power sector’s key role in mitigating global emissions,” said H.E. Mr. Lars Christian Lilleholt, Danish Minister of Energy, Utilities and Climate. 

Scaling Up – How, What, and by When 

The technical solutions and financial support are available today. However, the right financial solutions have to be paired with the proper technical solutions and market design. This requires changes in the national and regional organizational and institutional setup, which has to be addressed in the political and regulatory frameworks of tomorrow. 

Speeding Up – How, What, and by When 

To ensure a cost efficient transition, it is important to share experiences, lessons learned, and build and strengthen cooperation on these core issues between developed and emerging economies at a global level. A continuous effort to create closer linkages between the international, multilateral, bilateral, and national efforts to transform the power sectors will result in further synergies and an easier and faster transition toward a sustainable future. 

Call to Action 

To ensure further scale and speed, the Power Systems Transformation partnership session called for support in strengthening the CEM 21CPP through increased finance, sharing of good practice, and integrated action. To this end, the session highlighted the CEM Power System Challenge (PSC) portal ( PSC aims to accelerate power system transformation to achieve clean, reliable, resilient, and affordable power for all. The new Internet portal encompasses cutting-edge knowledge and information about ambitious national power system transformation roadmaps that can inspire other countries (e.g., from diverse countries such as Mexico, the United States, Japan, South Africa, India, Indonesia, Germany, and Denmark). Mr. Peder Østermark Andreasen, CEO of and President of European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) noted that “based on the Nordic and European experience, the key tools for efficient large scale renewable energy integration are strong transmission grids and interconnectors, coherent international electricity markets, flexibility in the entire value-chain from producer to consumer, and specialized operational forecasting planning tools for TSOs [transmission system operators]. I believe that these tools can be used universally for all power systems.”