Major trends that support GEI's mission include:
1) Cross-industry innovation andcollaboration
The rapid spread of the digital economythat is disrupting industry after industry offers opportunities to showcase how smart grids and market connectivity can be enablers for smart applications. Identifying winning solutions and showing how GEI can accelerate their spread may offer new opportunities for energy interconnectedness on the basis of mutually beneficial partnerships. This may be relevant both in advanced countries, where smart home appliances and the internet favor electrification and smart grids, as well as in less-advanced regions, such as Africa, where decentralized solar power generator sare spreading. Forming specific partnerships that demonstrate how GEI can help to scale such solutions would offer powerful examples that might inspire further actions.
2) Sectoral integration
As some countries are now embarking on the next generation of energy transformation there is increased focus on redesigning policy frameworks and creating and enabling an environment for electrification and a holistic rethinking of sector interdependencies. This will enable GEI to show how "Smart Grid" + UHV Grid + Clean Energy is an essential infrastructural component to make the integration of different sectors possible.
3) Building of partnerships
The electrification of the transport system may offer specific opportunities for mutually beneficial partnerships. The spread of electric vehicles (EVs) will be a huge game changer and has been happening much faster than was predicted. It will significantly drive demand for electricity produced by renewable energy sources and involve the need for major new infrastructure investments such as charging stations. For example, the world's largest volume producer, VW, has now firm plans to invest US $40 billion in the electrification and digitalization of its products within the next four years. Fifty all-electric vehicles are in the pipeline. In China alone, VW and its Chinese partners will invest US $12 billion by 2025 and launch twenty-five electric vehicles between 2020 and 2025, in addition to the 15 electric models VW is already planning to roll out in China by 2020. As China is leading the world in this fast-growing market, this presents a unique opportunity to build partnerships.
4) Supporting policies that driveelectrification
There is also a clear role for thought leadership for GEI to shape smart policies that support energy transformation. As the decarbonization of markets is bound to gain urgency - mother nature will with scientific certainty drive that message home - the case for realigning valuations and price signals is of ever greater importance and will in turn help build the political will and the social consent to embark on infrastructure investments as advocated by GEI. Economists everywhere agree that the most effective way to stimulate decarbonization is by pricing emissions and carbon. Following the Paris Agreement, 80 countries initiated some sort of carbon pricing orreduced subsidies for fossil fuels and hundreds of multinational corporations introduced internal carbon prices far above market rates in order to steer investments into cleaner and more future-fit domains. But these efforts have not yet reached a critical threshold. Supporting movements and policy changes that lead to raising carbon prices high enough to affect investment decisions will greatly stimulate the shift away from burning fossil fuels and support electrification of all sectors of the economy.
5) Collaboration with the business community
GEI is well aligned with the global corporate sustainability movement. Thousands of companies are now on a journey to green their energy supply, to act with greater integrity, and to rethink their processes and products based on good environmental stewardship and respect for fundamental principles of workers' rights, with a view to improving and protecting their brand and financial bottom line while mitigating risks. These corporations are natural allies of GEI. Fostering this alignment will help GEI to make the case with the corporate community everywhere. Many of them have taken on the issue of decarbonization and are looking for cross-industry partners to implement low carbon strategies throughout their global operations.
6) Steering finance to invest in GEI
It is also encouraging that finance is now waking up and starting to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into their analysis and decision making. Climate risks are increasingly factored into investment analysis and decision making. The rapid spread of sustainable investing in combination with big data analysis as pioneered by Arabesque and its S-Ray product will increasingly steer private finance towards more sustainable companies and thus improve the framework conditions for GEI and facilitate access to finance. The alignment of sustainable finance with corporate sustainability will redirect capital towards cleaner segments of the economy and by doing so will help to accelerate energy transformations. This may open up new opportunities for GEI to build partnerships that will facilitate the financing of infrastructure.
GEI is directly contributing to the advancement of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the implementation of the Paris Climate Accord. These accords encourage international cooperation and collaboration between different sectors of societies based on the recognition that commerce, peace, and prosperity are the foundation of human progress. While some countries turn away from international cooperation, the reality is that people everywhere today depend on each other more than ever before and the big challenges humanity is facing today can only be solved through cooperation. As the urgency for action is bound to grow over time, there is no doubt that in our interdependent world there will be a growing premium on collaboration between and within countries. Access to sustainable energy is a universal desire that people aspire to everywhere and the impacts of pollution and global warming do not respect national boundaries. As the urgency to transform energy systems is bound to grow over time the mission of GEI is well positioned to build the required infrastructure that will enable a cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous future for humankind.
Editorial Office Director: Wei Wang
Editors: BaoBao Sun, Chenyang Liu,Xiangru Chen, Ya Gao, Zhou Zhou
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