- Globally leading energy providers promote sustainable and affordable electricity supply, also in developing countries
- Discussion with Commissioner for Energy, Günther Oettinger, Minister Dr. Philipp Rösler and Maria Van der Hoeven (IEA), among others
Twenty years after the Earth Summit in Rio, the companies participating in the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP) are meeting today in Berlin. The thirteen member companies from the US, France, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, South Africa, Canada, Russia, Japan, China and Germany are among the largest electricity providers in the world, supplying a total of around one third of electricity required worldwide. German energy utility RWE was one of the founding members 20 years ago and chairs the organisation this year.
Michael G. Morris (American Electric Power), Jürgen Großmann (RWE) and Thierry Vandal (Hydro-Quebec).
According to GSEP, one of the greatest global challenges today is that some 1.3 billion people do not have access to reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity supply. “We support the aim of the United Nations to improve the future development prospects of these countries too by solving this issue by 2030. The member companies are prepared to contribute their many years of experience in electricity supply to this process”, says Dr. Juergen Grossmann, this year’s Chairman of the GSEP.
Since it was founded, the group has promoted the development of sustainable electricity supply, in particular in developing and emerging countries. It offers further education programmes, workshops, grants for gifted students from these countries and deploys pilot projects that are designed to prove the technical, economic and social viability of electricity supply concepts in a certain region, for example. “After 20 years of GSEP we strike a positive balance. So far, GSEP has implemented 55 training projects and 7 pilot projects all over the world, and more are planned. In 2012 alone, there were 600 applications for our grants”.
A major pilot project in recent years was the construction of a wind farm on one of the Galapagos islands, which generates environmentally compatible electricity to replace about half of the electricity there, which was previously produced by diesel generators. This project is being used as a model for the other islands on the archipelago. Currently, the members of the organisation are preparing to connect up two remote villages in Patagonia as well as one of the Maldives. In another interesting pilot project, wind power is being generated in Morocco, which will also be used for electro osmotic desalination of brackish water when load is low.
The United Nations’ goal of providing global electricity supply can only be achieved in the form of Public Private Partnerships (PPP). In collaboration with the energy subsidiary of the UN, GSEP therefore carried out a global study last year on how Public Private Partnerships could be supported and what factors have contributed to success in Public Private Partnerships in the past. The study will be published at the GSEP summit in Berlin.
The representatives of the GSEP member companies will be discussing these and other topics with Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger, Minister Dr. Philipp Rösler and Maria van der Hoeven (Executive Director der IEA) over the next few days in Berlin.
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