Energy Transition Highlights from COP26

November 9, 2021

As you know, world leaders are gathering in Glasgow at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) to address climate change and approve the appropriate strategies for the world. Many councils are active around various topics, one such is the focus on Energy Transition Council. The Focus on Energy transition Council at COP26 has identified its Strategic Priorities are listed below. For those in Energy Transition work, it is important to recognize these priorities as the same ones we understand in Canada. All of these priorities will, directly or indirectly, impact how we generate, distribute or use electricity as we reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and replace it with clean sources and uses.  

Lets not forget the infrastructure that is needed to move the electricity around. the Grid. Without it, we have no way to move (electric) energy from where it is generated to where it is needed.

1. Integrated Energy planning – delivering energy needs in a way that maximizes cost effectiveness, efficiency, socioeconomic benefits and emissions reductions.

2. Utility-scale renewables – which require long-term commitments to the energy transition, adequate regulatory frameworks, bankable contracts, investments in modern grid infrastructure and management capacity, and mobilisation of investment from the private sector.

3. Coal and fossil fuel transition – countries require support and exit options on mechanisms and solutions to retire coal plants early and no longer build new coal power capacity.

4. Investment (policy and instruments) – capital does not readily flow to countries with growing energy demands where significant investment is needed. Accelerating the energy transition will require a substantial increase of investment which cannot come from public finance alone.

5. Green Grids – managing renewables intermittency, sharing of resources across a wide geographic area and upgrading domestic power grids to integrate renewables. The UK-India Green Grids Initiative – One Sun One World One Grid (GGI-OSOWOG), launched at COP26, can support the political and technical cooperation required to achieve progress.

6. Energy efficiency – could deliver more than 40% of GHG emission reductions over the next 20 years [3] across end-use sectors, including buildings, equipment and vehicles.

7. Distributed renewable energy – technologies including small-scale solar PV, mini-grids, stand-alone lighting systems and wind generators play a crucial role in achieving energy access goals alongside energy transitions.

8. Just transition – the development of an industrial strategy that offers the opportunity for social dialogue between government, private sector and workers – and creates new, quality jobs for coal-dependent regions. The COP26 International Just Transition Declaration sets out the principles for supporting the conditions for a Just Transition internationally.

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