In order to ensure universal access to energy by 2030, a faster and more effective action plan is needed. In the last two years, the progress made to achieve the SDG7, the Sustainable Development Goal of the UN 2030 Agenda that aims to ensure that the entire world population can have access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy, was not enough.
According to the Global Tracking Framework, the study carried out by the World Bank and by the IEA (International Energy Agency) in collaboration with the Sustainable Energy for All Knowledge Hub, 9% of the world population will still not have access to electricity by 2030.
The report was presented on 3rd April, in New York, by Rachel Kyte, CEO of Sustainable Energy for All and Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations, at the opening of the three-day event SEforALLForum 2017. The event was also attended by Enel’s CEO Francesco Starace.
“These figures are a warning to the world leaders to adopt an action plan on access to energy, by promoting energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources,” stressed Kyte.
“We made a commitment to act, and each day of delay becomes more painful and costlier. We need to build a path, we need to tell this story. Sustainable energy for all means dignity for all”
Rachel Kyte, CEO of Sustainable Energy for All
Digitalization and renewables for possible energy
Energy efficiency offers one of the greatest opportunity to ensure access to reliable, sustainable and fair energy, both in developed countries and in rapidly growing countries. The objective is to support an energy transition toward models that rely on decarbonisation and efficiency, reducing waste and increasing the use of renewables.
Electrification and therefore the use of electricity as a privileged vector also in transportation and in all end-uses of energy, together with the development of renewables and the digitalization of grids and power stations, are the pillars that are driving the growth strategy of Enel which, in 2015, has made a formal commitment to achieving the SDG7.
“6-7 years ago, we started developing our renewables pipeline of different technologies, solar, wind, hydro and geo, and in doing that we tried to avoid incentives and subsidies,” explained Starace speaking at the Forum. He added, “Now we are basically adding over 2,000 MW of new green capacity each year worldwide. As we phase out from thermal and we phase in renewables we will decarbonise progressively. At the end of the period we will have a completely different generation mix than today.”
“To be able to reach the target of complete decarbonisation of generation, the real discriminating factor is the digitalization of grids”
Francesco Starace, Enel’s CEO
Digitalization favours greater penetration of renewables: smart grids, smart meters, Big Data, sensors and the Internet of Things allow us not only to forecast daily production from sources such as solar and wind power, but also to estimate the energy demand and therefore to balance supply and demand.
Bringing digital technology to energy production and to grids means encouraging the development of smart cities, the efficient use of energy in urban spaces and electric mobility.
Starace also explained that by spreading smart meters and digital measuring and digital control systems, end users, too, will become a key factor of efficiency, since energy management will be increasingly smarter. Thanks to latest generation meters, it is possible to offer innovative services and put energy in the hands of customers who can - through apps and smart devices - schedule and manage consumption remotely.
The Electrification Accelerator deal
Within the framework of the New York forum, in order to support and accelerate the achievement of the UN sustainable development goal #7 (SDG7), Enel and Sustainable Energy for All of the United Nations signed a partnership agreement to create an “Electrification Accelerator.”
The initiative will see Enel lead a working group to encourage electrification that is able to support access to available, reliable and modern energy services at global level.