Global energy leaders call for greater investment in electricity systems
Paris: Energy ministers and electricity industry CEOs from around the world have called for mobilising investments for secure and sustainable power systems to offset the impact of Covid-19 crisis on the electricity sector.
The participants in a high-level virtual meeting hosted by the International Energy Agency (IEA) recognised the critical importance of the electricity sector in response to the pandemic to keep essential services running, hospitals open and communication flowing.
"Resilient electricity systems are vital for modern societies today and for a sustainable energy future, but they need much greater investment," said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.
The IEA's World Energy Investment 2020 report earlier this week highlighted that global investment in the power sector is set to fall 10 per cent this year, compounding previous declines.
"The drop in investment in electricity grids, an essential but often overlooked part of the shift to cleaner energy, is set to be even steeper," said Birol.
"Renewables like wind and solar will not be able to fulfil their great promise without a robust infrastructure that reliably delivers the power they produce to consumers," he added.
The discussion focused on the implications of the Covid-19 crisis for investments in the power sector that are needed to support clean energy transitions, as well as the opportunities for international cooperation and collaboration.
Participants included 11 government ministers and nine company CEOs representing five continents and 60 per cent of the global electricity system. From India, NTPC Chairman and Managing Director Gurdeep Singh took part in the meeting.
The meeting on Friday was co-hosted by the IEA and British government. It was one in a series leading up to the IEA Clean Energy Transitions Summit which will take place on July 9.