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Major global utilities announce joint intent to scale renewables capacity by 2030 

19th April 2024

By: Sabrina Jardim

Creamer Media Online Writer

     

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The Utilities for Net Zero Alliance (Uneza) has adopted a roadmap to 2030, targeting a total increase of renewable energy capacity within their portfolios to 749 GW by 2030, an increase of 2.5 times relative to 2023.

The alliance members’ joint renewables ambition was announced this week alongside a grid infrastructure action plan.

The plan, revealed at the fourteenth assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena), addresses the pressing need to scale and modernise global grid infrastructure to support clean power development and the tripling of renewables by 2030.

According to Irena, about $720-billion a year of investment in power grids and flexibility is needed to limit global warming to 1.5 °C above preindustrial levels.

In a joint, high-level statement, alliance CEOs stressed the centrality of enabling grid infrastructure and urged the policy and regulatory community to engage industry to address bottlenecks and unlock capital flows.

“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 United Nations (UN) Climate Change High-Level Champion Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak.

The Uneza action plan focuses on three key critical areas, namely derisking supply chains, facilitating policy and regulatory support and mobilising capital.

"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 World Energy Transitions Outlook shows that this goal will be met only with the modernisation of infrastructure designed for the fossil fuel era to more interconnected and flexible systems that support renewables.

“The announcement of a grid infrastructure action plan by [Uneza] is a significant step to addressing this urgent need, showcasing the central role that utilities can play in transforming our energy systems and realising net zero targets,” said Irena director-general Francesco La Camera.

Launched at COP28, Uneza counts many of the leading global utilities among its members.

“The global utilities community is taking bold, decisive steps towards the tripling of renewables by 2030, not just in terms of our concrete investment plans but also in our drive to address energy transition bottlenecks – particularly for grids.

“It is increasingly recognised that grid infrastructure development is critical to enable the energy transition and expansion of clean power capacity. However, we need to do more across industry and policy to encourage more supply chain capacity, address the gridlock in permitting for grids and increase capital flows,” said alliance co-chairperson Jasim Husain Thabet.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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