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Energy (261)

Siemens Gamesa Seals Its First Wind Farm Project In Ethiopia

Siemens Gamesa has signed its first wind power project in Ethiopia with state-owned electricity company Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), strengthening its leadership in Africa as the country begins to expand its green energy capacity to meet ambitious renewable targets.

The 100 MW Assela wind farm will be located between the towns of Adama and Assela, approximately 150 km south of the capital, Addis Ababa, and will contribute to clean and affordable power for the country’s electricity grid.

The country has set an ambitious target to supply 100% of its domestic energy demand through renewable energy by 2030. According to the African Development Bank, Ethiopia has abundant resources, particularly wind with a potential 10 GW of installation capacity and having installed 324 MW at present.  

“Siemens Gamesa is intent on expanding its leadership across Africa, and in turn help a growing transition to green energy across the continent. So, we are extremely pleased to begin work in Ethiopia and look forward to collaborating with both EEP and the country to continue to promote their drive to install more renewables and meet transformational energy targets,” said Roberto Sabalza, CEO for Onshore Southern Europe and Africa at Siemens Gamesa.  

According to a Wood Mackenzie forecast, around 2 GW of wind power would be installed in Ethiopia by 2029.

The wind farm will be made up of 29 SG 3.4-132 wind turbines and is expected to be commissioned by the start of 2023. The project will generate about 300,000 MWh per year. Siemens Gamesa will provide full engineering, procurement, and turnkey construction.

The Assela wind project will be financed by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs via Danida Business Finance (DBF) adding to a loan agreement signed between the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MoFEC) and Danske Bank A/S.

Ethiopia has many renewable resources covering wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass, and the country aspires to be a power hub and the battery for the Horn of Africa. The country’s National Electrification Program, launched in 2017, outlines a plan to reach universal access by 2025 with the help of off-grid solutions for 35% of the population.

Siemens Gamesa is among the global leaders in the wind power industry, with a strong presence in all facets of the renewable energy business: offshore, onshore, and services. With more than 107 GW installed worldwide; Siemens Gamesa is an ideal partner for Ethiopia at this critical juncture in the East African nation’s accelerating energy journey.

IRENA, AfDBPartner To Scale Up Renewables Investments In Africa

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and the African Development Bank (AfDB), have agreed to work closely together to advance the continent's energy transition through joint initiatives that support investments in low-carbon energy projects.

Under the Declaration of Intent, the two entities confirmed their wish to collaborate on supporting the continent's energy transition under a framework of core activities. These include co-organising renewable energy investment forums as part of IRENA's contribution to the Climate Investment Platform, and collaboration on the Bank's annual Africa Investment Forum. Furthermore, strong emphasis will be placed on concrete support for enhancing the role of renewable energy in Nationally Determined Contributions and sustainable development objectives.

The joint declaration was signed by Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA, and Kevin Kanina Kariuki, Vice-President, Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth at the African Development Bank.

Mr. Kariuki said: "Driven by the aspiration to harness Africa's huge renewable energy potential, the African Development Bank is today at the forefront of investing in renewable energy in Africa. The Bank's partnership with IRENA will advance this aspiration and support Africa's energy transition and our goal to achieve universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy in Africa by 2030."

IRENA's Global Renewables Outlook report, released earlier this year, revealed that sub-Saharan Africa could generate 67 per cent of its power from indigenous and clean renewable energy sources by 2030. Further analysis shows that the energy transition would boost GDP, improve welfare and stimulate up to 2 million additional green jobs in sub-Saharan Africa by 2050.

Mr. La Camera said: "The African continent has some of the most abundant renewable energy resources in the world and the potential to transform outcomes for millions of people through the accelerated deployment of a renewables-based energy system. Renewables will increase energy security, create green jobs, advance energy access, including clean cooking, and help build resilient African economies.

"This agreement represents the type of coordinated international cooperation that is the cornerstone of the realisation of sustainable development in Africa and the achievement of Paris Agreement goals," he continued. "We will pursue an action-oriented agenda that puts African countries on a path to realising their full renewable energy potential."

The declaration also provides for collaboration on the African Development Bank's Desert to Power Initiative, which aims to mobilise public and private funding to install 10 GW of solar power by 2025 in 11 countries in the Sahel region of the African continent.

The two institutions will also engage in capacity building and knowledge exchange activities to reinforce joint efforts and cooperate on developing regional and national renewable energy case studies.

Call To Accelerate Deployment Of Renewables & Gas Power To Drive Faster Decarbonization Made

Building on its commitment to carbon neutrality in its operations by 2030 and announced intention to exit the new-build coal power market, GE has shared its position that the accelerated and strategic deployment of both renewable energy and gas power can make substantial progress in combatting climate change in the near-term while securing a path to a lower-carbon emitting world in the future.

In a newly published paper expanding on its decades-long commitment to decarbonization titled "Accelerated Growth of Renewables and Gas Power Can Rapidly Change the Trajectory on Climate Change," GE said neither power source will be sufficient alone; however, deployed in tandem, they can provide decarbonization at the pace and scale needed to help achieve substantial climate goals.

In addition, the paper outlines multiple technical pathways for gas power to achieve a lower-carbon generating footprint through the use of low and zero-carbon fuels—including hydrogen—as well as carbon capture utilization and sequestration (CCUS) technologies. 

"Addressing climate change is an urgent global priority and one that we think we can do a better job of accelerating progress on—starting now—not decades from now," said Scott Strazik, CEO of GE Gas Power. "We believe there are critical and meaningful roles for both gas power and renewable sources of energy to play, advancing global progress faster today with coal-to-gas switching while continuing to develop multiple pathways for low-to-zero carbon gas technologies in the future."

To help meet urgent climate goals while at the same time increasing power demand across the globe, the report details the merits of gas-fired generation as a complement to support and accelerate renewable energy penetration:

  • Gas is reliable, inexpensive, and doesn't require a lot of land; the ideal complement to renewable energy.
  • While renewable power is variable, gas power is dispatchable, dependable and flexible, available as much as 90% of the time.
  • The near-term impact of coal-to-gas switching represents a fast and effective win for emissions reduction in many regions around the world. For example, since 2007, power sector CO2 emissions in the United States have dropped by about one third while total electricity generation has remained fairly constant. The CO2 emissions reduction attributed to coal-to-gas switching was greater than that from any other fuel source.

The position paper released today provides technology and market overviews of several sources of power generation including renewables, gas, coal and nuclear as well as technology breakthroughs needed to make battery storage more cost-competitive.

"With more than 125 years of experience across the electricity industry, GE is well-positioned alongside our customers to continue to lead the way and drive the future of energy," said Vic Abate, GE Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer and former CEO of both GE's Gas Power and Renewables businesses. "We're prioritizing investment in technologies to cost-effectively scale renewables and to move toward net zero gas power with advances in hydrogen and carbon capture technologies. Together, the combination of renewables and gas can help lead an energy transition that enables us to achieve greater carbon emissions reductions faster compared to renewables alone."

GE Renewable Energy is continuing to invest in technology innovations that are driving down the cost of renewable energy, a key driver of the industry's continued growth as noted in the whitepaper. The company recently announced that its Haliade-X offshore wind turbine, the most powerful turbine in operation today, will be uprated to 13 MW as part of the first two phases of the Dogger Bank offshore wind farm in the UK.

GE's gas turbine portfolio is built on an 80-year gas turbine technology heritage that is unparalleled in the power generation industry and GE's HA gas turbine—the world's most efficient gas turbine and fastest-growing fleet—has established several industry-firsts and secured two world records. GE also offers the industry's most experienced gas turbine fleet in hydrogen and similar low-BTU fuel operations, with more than six million operating hours in decades of use across more than 75 gas turbines. GE continues to invest in research and development into hydrogen and carbon capture technologies in close partnership with GE's Global Research Center—to help further advance a low or near-zero carbon footprint for gas power.

GE's Gas Power business has also signed several major customer strategic decarbonization programs including agreements with Uniper and the Long Ridge Energy Center in 2020. GE is pursuing multiple decarbonization pilot projects with customers throughout 2021 and 2022 for both hydrogen-fueled projects and carbon capture and sequestration technologies. Finally, GE Gas Power today announced it has joined the Carbon Capture Coalition, a nonpartisan collaboration of more than 80 businesses and organizations building federal policy support for economy-wide deployment of carbon capture, transport, use, removal and storage.

AfDB Approves $7m To Transform Mini-Grid Energy Investment In Africa

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank have approved a $7 million grant from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), for technical assistance in setting up a mini-grid acceleration initiative to meet the needs of the continent's fast-evolving renewable mini-grid industry.

The Africa Mini-Grid Market Acceleration Programme (AMAP), which aims to boost energy access in remote regions and enhance climate resilience throughout Africa, will include three core components: the implementation of a new and standardised framework for national-scale Mini-Grid Acceleration Programmes (MAPs) in four countries; the design and enhancement of financial de-risking solutions; and support for knowledge, innovation, and skills development activities, including the continuation of the Bank's Green Mini-Grid Help Desk website.

"Mini-grids are an integral and increasingly important feature of the energy access solution, not just in terms of providing lights to households, but also in ensuring that underserved populations have access to productive uses of energy to power inclusive and green economic growth. AMAP underscores the African Development Bank's commitment to strengthening Africa's mini-grids industry, which we see as a key driver for accelerated energy access, climate resilience, and a green post COVID-19 recovery," said Dr. Kevin Kariuki, the Bank's Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth.

By leveraging the Bank's established leadership and years of experience in building the African mini-grid industry, AMAP's overarching aim is to transform the scale of public and private investments in renewable energy mini-grids throughout Africa, including such initiatives as the Green Mini-Grid Market Development Programme, the Nigeria National Electrification Project, and the DRC Green Mini-Grid Programme.

AMAP's initial phase in four countries is expected to lead to 880,000 new electricity access connections providing modern energy access to over 4 million people, over 80 MW of renewable energy-based generation; the creation of 7,200 full-time jobs, of which 1,800 are anticipated to be held by women, reductions of over 6.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2eq) in lifetime greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and the facilitation of an estimated $650 million of public and private investments in mini-grids.

AMAP is strongly aligned to the ambitions of the Bank's New Deal on Energy for Africa as well as the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Aaron Leopold, CEO of the Africa Minigrid Developers Association, said, "Mini-grids are a fundamental but under-supported element of Africa's energy future. To achieve SDG 7 (target on energy), the sector must be radically scaled up, and to do this, a holistic and broad-spectrum support programme informed by industry needs is required to bring governments, investors, and of course the mini-grid sector the kind of support that can facilitate fast and efficient progress. For these reasons, AMDA is excited to see AfDB working to bring mini-grid investments in Africa to the next level."

Africa Medium Scale Independent Power Producers Get $25m Funding

The African Development Bank's Board of Directors on Monday 14 December 2020 approved $15 million from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa [SEFA] and $10 million from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) to advance African Renewable Energy Fund (AREF) II's projects to boost low-carbon energy generation in sub-Saharan Africa.

SEFA's contribution will comprise a package of $10 million in equity and a $5 million reimbursable grant. CTF, part of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), will provide $10 million in equity. The combined contribution of $20 million from SEFA and CTF will go to capitalize AREF II's catalytic tranche. The reimbursable grant is earmarked for AREF II's project support facility. The CTF contribution was approved by the CTF Trust Fund Committee on July 2020 under its Dedicated Private Sector Program (DPSP III).

The financing will help small and medium-sized producers to add more than 800 MW of hydropower, solar and wind power and battery storage in countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

"We are very excited to support AREF II at a time when, due to competing financing needs, on account of the cost impacts of the pandemic and for post COVID-19 recovery efforts, there is real risk of under-investment in the African power sector, including in renewables," said Dr. Kevin Kariuki, the Bank's Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth. The Bank manages SEFA, a Special Fund, and is also a CTF implementing entity.

Capitalizing the fund's catalytic tranche is expected to attract critical private investment at a time of investment uncertainty and economic disruption owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure capital flows to support the delivery of sustainable power infrastructure to meet the region's growing energy needs. AREF II Project Support Facility will work to bring projects to the required level of readiness and bankability.

AREF II, the second generation of the pan-African Renewable Energy Fund, is targeting a $300 million market capitalization, and will be managed by Berkeley Energy, a well-established fund manager with extensive experience investing in renewable energy projects in Asian and African markets.

"We are proud to be able to continue our company's mission of bringing reliable renewable power to countries and communities in Africa to support economic and social development, whilst also meeting the needs of our investors", said TC Kundi, Berkeley Energy's CEO. "The Berkeley Energy team is looking forward to working again with SEFA which has played an important role in launching AREF II," he concluded.

SEFA provides catalytic finance for renewable energy to contribute to universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy services for all in Africa, in line with the Bank's New Deal on Energy for Africa and Sustainable Development Goal 7. Established in 2011 in partnership with the Government of Denmark (https://bit.ly/34nFdyA), SEFA counts the United States (https://bit.ly/2KArn4S), United Kingdom (https://bit.ly/3nx2aa7), Italy (https://bit.ly/3mwFCVx), Norway (https://bit.ly/2WsI44O), Spain (https://bit.ly/3aqq3fM), Sweden (https://bit.ly/3nBjBq2), Germany, and the Nordic Development Fund (https://bit.ly/2WrSTnB) among its donors.

The CTF is a $5.4 billion global fund that promotes scaled-up financing for demonstration, deployment and transfer of low-carbon technologies with significant potential for long-term greenhouse gas emissions savings. Since 2010, when the Bank became an Implementing Entity of the CTF in 2010, it has approved over $588 million in CTF resources for a total of 10 projects across Africa.

"We welcome the participation of CTF in this project. These concessional resources will be instrumental to maximize the participation of private investors in the Fund while minimizing concessionality, with the aim to support low-carbon and climate-resilient development in Africa," said Prof. Anthony Nyong, Director of Climate Change and Green Growth at the Bank.

Projection: Africa's Power Demand To Keep Rising Between 4-5% Per Year

Total electricity generation in Africa stood at 870 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2019, an increase of 2.9 percent from 846 TWh in 2018. Africa's electricity generation capacity has grown at an average of 4.8 percent per annum since 2008, compared to 2.7 percent globally. Nonetheless, Africa's share of global electricity generation has been around 3 percent since 2000.

The African Energy Chamber forecasts that 2021 generation is likely to range between 870-900 TWh if demand picks up aggressively throughout the year following the gradual removal of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and economies opening more fully to international trade.

Our base case forecast using a conservative 4.5 percent yearly growth (current stated policies) shows that electricity generation on the continent will increase by 25 percent, 55 percent and 141 percent of 2020 baseline levels to reach 1,057, 1,138 and 2,047 TWh by 2025, 2035 and 2040 respectively. This increases to 1,520 in 2030 and 2,700 TWh in 2040 in a more aggressive push to expand capacity at 6 percent per annum.

The latter assessment is premised on Africa aggressively pushing to expand electricity supply and modern energy services within the framework of the Africa Agenda 2063 on energy and infrastructure development. This will ensure that generation expansion will outpace population growth on the continent (Africa will have 1.8 and 2.45 billion people by 2040 and 2050).

Regarding the supply mix, natural gas (39 percent) constitutes the largest element in Africa's electricity generation mix, followed by coal (29 percent), hydro (15 percent) and oil (10 percent).

While nuclear energy accounted for another 2 percent, the share of renewables (RE) in Africa's generation mix is growing, albeit at a lower pace than in other regions (5 percent). Most of the RE growth comes from solar, wind and geothermal power plants, and this expected to continue into 2030. Africa generated 830 megawatts (MW), 5,748 MW and 7,236 MW of geothermal, wind and solar installed capacity in 2019, signifying growth rates of 17.4 percent, 26.1 percent and 60.2 percent respectively since 2010.

Nonetheless, most of these RE developments on the continent are limited primarily to Northern (Morocco, Egypt) and South-Eastern Africa (South Africa, Kenya). Given the declining costs of key RE technologies along with rising concerns over CO2 emissions, the level of renewables deployment, particularly solar and wind energy is expected to increase by 1.5 percent annually over the next decade to 2030.

Regarding sectoral electricity consumption, the industrial sector remains the continent's largest user (41 percent) followed by residential (33 percent), commercial and public services (18 percent) and agriculture (4 percent). Transport consumes a small proportion (approximately 1 percent) while the remaining 3 percent was accounted for by other sectors.

At a sub-regional level, North Africa and South Africa account for more than 70 percent of Africa's electricity demand.

This is an excerpt taken from the Africa Energy Outlook 2021. Get your free copy today on www.EnergyChamber.org. Engage with us on our social media using #ChamberNews #ChamberEnergy Outlook.

Uganda Tops African Countries With Well-Developed Electricity Regulatory Frameworks

Uganda has for the third time in a row emerged as the top performer in this year's Electricity Regulatory Index Report published by the African Development Bank.

The East African country, along with Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Kenya, the other top performers, have regulators with the authority to exert the necessary oversight on the sector. However, the overall electricity regulatory frameworks of African countries is poorly developed, and most countries experience major regulatory weaknesses.

The ERI, a flagship report of the African Development Bank, is a composite index which measures the level of development of electricity sector regulatory frameworks in African countries against international standards and best practice.

"The African Development Bank has been at the forefront of efforts to mainstream electricity sector regulation issues in Africa within the broader sector discourse, recognizing the importance of establishing robust legal and regulatory frameworks to support the financial sustainability of the sector and attract private sector investment," said Dr. Kevin Kariuki, Vice President, Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, at the African Development Bank.

The third edition of the ERI report was launched during the Digital Energy Festival of the Africa Energy Forum, on 5 November 2020. The event brought together more than 70 stakeholders in the energy sector, regulators, international organizations, and development finance institutions like Africa50 and the World Bank.

Wale Shonibare, Director for Energy Financial Solutions, Policy and Regulations, at the African Development Bank, said COVID-19 related restrictions had increased residential electricity demand and decreased industrial/commercial demand. This had resulted in shortfalls in the projected revenues of utilities.

"To address these challenges, regulators will be required to play an even more critical and central role post-Covid, to ensure that the sector recovers with minimal and controlled impact on consumers and utilities," Shonibare said.

Koffi Klousseh, Director of Project Development at Africa50, praised the ERI as a great tool for assessing the readiness of the electricity sector for private sector investments.

Main findings of the ERI 2020 report

  • 69% of countries surveyed have regulatory mechanisms in place to facilitate electricity access.
  • In 21 of the 36 countries surveyed, the utility is not involved in funding rural electrification. The government, NGOs and consumers do this.
  • In 90% of the countries surveyed, the Executive holds the power to appoint board members and heads of regulatory institutions who report to them. This removes the core of decision-making independence from regulators, who are subjected to subtle and direct political pressure to skew key regulatory decisions towards the political inclination of the government in power.
  • Most countries have legislation to deal with conflict of interest among commissioners and heads of regulatory institutions while in office. However, few have adequate mechanisms to regulate conflict of interest and other ethical issues, affecting the integrity of regulatory decisions.
  • Political authorities have significant influence on the finances of regulatory authorities. In many instances, laws establishing regulatory institutions do not clearly indicate sources of funds for the institution.

Other participants also shared views on the sector:

Ziria Tibalwa Waako, CEO of Uganda's Electricity Regulatory Authority: "Regulation is a catch-up game. If there are gaps, be happy to review your process and methodology."

Foibe Namene, CEO of Namibia's Electricity Control Board: "Regulatory independence is a balancing act between multiple stakeholders while maintaining high level of integrity in the regulatory processes and actions."

Peter Twesigye, Head of Electricity Regulation Programme, Power Futures Lab, at the University of Cape Town: "Regulators should support utilities through tariffs to finance investments in the backbone feeders with outage management systems that will enable them to monitor reliability and the quality of power on these feeders."

IRENA, GWEC Enhance Cooperation To Scale Up Renewables Globally

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) signed a cooperation agreement in order to join efforts aimed at increasing the adoption and deployment of wind and renewable energy worldwide.

This agreement was signed by IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera and GWEC CEO Ben Backwell on the occasion of the Race to Zero Dialogues, a programme to accelerate progress by governments, industry and other key stakeholders to meet the Paris Agreement, convened by the High-Level Champions for Global Climate Action.

As shown in IRENA's Global Renewables Outlook report, a Paris-compliant future by 2050 requires transformative changes to policy, behaviour and international cooperation. Renewable technologies such as onshore and offshore wind, as well as energy efficiency measures, can deliver more than 90 per cent of the emission reductions needed, while providing net employment and economic gains in the process.

Both IRENA and GWEC recognise that rapid decarbonisation will require a variety of policy shifts and investments, including intensifying renewable energy commitments, resolving market and regulatory barriers, improving access to finance and expanding the pipeline of bankable projects. Around a third of all new renewable power capacity added in 2019 was from wind power and IRENA data suggests wind – together with solar – will dominate future capacity growth.

"Wind energy is a cornerstone of the global energy transformation and with evolving technologies and a strengthening economic case, it will continue to support the world's low-carbon growth agenda through to mid-century," said Francesco La Camera, Director-General at IRENA. "By blending the knowledge, capabilities and convening power of our two organisations, we can jointly work to address policy and investment barriers and create an enabling environment for wind energy."

Ben Backwell, CEO at GWEC added: "On behalf of the global wind industry, we look forward to strengthening our partnership and work with IRENA through the Climate Investment Platform and other important initiatives. It is more important than ever that intergovernmental institutions work collaboratively with industry in pursuit of shared sustainable development goals.

"There is no question that we must urgently take action to reduce carbon emissions and act collectively to slow the impacts of climate change; accelerating the development of renewable energy is one of the most effective ways to achieve these objectives. Wind energy, as a scalable, clean and affordable technology, will be critical to supporting countries, companies and other parties on the road to net-zero and a green recovery," he concluded.

Among other areas, the enhanced cooperation between IRENA and GWEC will focus on: strengthening wind energy project facilitation in the Climate Investment Platform; engaging the wind industry in Industry-Government Dialogues, Investment Forums and other arenas for knowledge exchange; and exploring open-source agreements and project templates for wind projects in emerging markets in order to mitigate legal risks and barriers. The parties agree to work collaboratively to minimise regulatory, legal and administrative barriers to investment in wind and renewable energy, and enhance international dialogues and actions on increasing the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

Five Key Factors For A Future-Oriented Digital Transformation Of Electric Power Enterprises

At HUAWEI CONNECT 2020, IDC and Huawei jointly released the white paper for the electric power industry — Building the Future-Ready Power Enterprise: Road to a Successful Digital Transformation.

In the white paper, IDC proposed a methodology for the transformation of electric power enterprises. This methodology supports and aligns with Huawei's digital transformation methodology. IDC and Huawei follow a similar approach with frameworks and blueprints to help organizations design their digital transformation priorities and set their agenda, which in turn enables power enterprises to deliver the business value of scale.

Electric Power Enterprises Urgently Need New Operating Structures and Business Models

The power industry has long faced disruption. Power enterprises are now facing multiple changes. Management will need new operating structures and business models if power enterprises are to remain key players in the energy ecosystem. As 2020 progresses, COVID-19 has introduced another dimension of change and disruption that business leaders in the power industry must tackle.

Hou Jinming, Deputy Director of the Technology Department of the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO) said that, "As the advance of global energy reform and energy Internet development, the power sector will take an entirely different shape.

It will be decarbonized, digitized, and intelligent." The implications of the change will impact the management, operations, services, and transaction modes of the electric power industry. Power enterprises must reconsider who the customer is and who the competitor is, a new breed of stakeholders and participants, and how the energy ecosystem works. This will mean new customer engagements, new business models, new competitors, more stakeholders and increased risks.

Increasing renewables, emerging power consumption devices, multiplying power grid connections, and the integration of energy, information, and transportation networks require power enterprises to systematically improve their response capabilities and the intelligence of their management systems and business processes.

This will allow power enterprises to better adapt to complex environments, and enable power systems to operate more securely, adaptively, flexibly, and efficiently. Therefore, high operation data analysis efficiency, rapid and efficient artificial intelligence (AI) decision-making capability, and full-process automation will be crucial to the survival of power enterprises.

Methodology: Five Stages of Digital Transformation of Electric Power Enterprises

To build the future power enterprise, IDC proposes the digital transformation methodology for the electric power industry.

IDC's maturity model is part of its digital transformation methodology that seeks to provide a framework for companies to build their roadmaps. According to the maturity model, the digital transformation of electric power enterprises is divided into five phases: adhoc, opportunistic, repeatable, managed, and optimized.

The factors most critical to the success of power industry digital transformations are as followed: 1. A single enterprise digital strategy; 2. Resolution to make the required organizational and cultural changes; 3. A long-term investment commitment to digital transformation; 4. A platform-based strategy; 5. An enterprise-wide data governance model.

Emilie Ditton, AVP of the Energy and Manufacturing Insights Group, IDC Asia Pacific, believes that modernization, digitalization, and transformation of the grid are an immediate requirement. The transformed digital grid will combine traditional centralized generation, large-scale distributed generation, and renewables as well as enabling visualized management and control of the complex power grid environment. Grid operations will transform from digital grid operations to smart grid operations. New business models will be established, and the power service mode and power grid management mode will be changed.

Huawei: Reliable Partner for Digital Transformation

Collaborating with its enterprise partners, Huawei implements comprehensive awareness, interconnection, and intelligence of various power terminals by integrating 5G, IoT, optical, IP, cloud, big data, and AI technologies into the power system. Through digital transformation, Huawei is committed to assisting customers develop coping strategies in dealing with industry challenges and seizing future opportunities.

Lu Yongping, Vice President of the Global Energy Business Dept of Huawei Enterprise Business Group, stated that Huawei is a reliable partner for digital transformation. Huawei will facilitate digital transformation of electric power enterprises through a variety of methods, including assisting in the understanding of their own status quo, the market, and the entire industry ecosystem.

Based on extensive digital transformation practices in the energy industry, Huawei has developed an energy ring — '1-2-3-2-1' — a digital transformation framework applicable to the energy industry, in aiding electric power enterprises realize the vision of their digital transformation goals.

Adhere to one transformation vision: Electric power enterprises should interpret 'digital transformation' as a corporate-level transformation strategy and an indispensable element of their overall strategy.

Create two assurance conditions: Develop data literacy levels of enterprises and employees, progress the cultivation of a digital and transformation culture, and build a talent team for digital transformation, supporting enterprises' digital transformation objectives.

Implement three key processes: Implement integrated management of planning, construction, and operations and ensure that digital transformation is progressing as outlined, so that an organization's transformation vision can be converted into enterprise value.

Build two core driving forces: Follow service and technology trends and seize opportunities in the future.

Build one basic platform: Build a fully connected digital platform to provide solid foundations for the digital transformation of businesses.

Huawei's digital transformation methodology is similar to that of IDC, and they complement each other. Both parties believe that digital transformation steps and frameworks need to be planned and established to help electric power enterprises design their digital transformation priorities and set their agenda, which will enable power enterprises to deliver business value of scale.

Hu Hao, Chief Digital Transformation Officer of the Global Electric Power Industry of Huawei Enterprise BG, pointed out that the global energy industry is facing transformation. The traditional energy consumption structure centered on primary energy is gradually transforming to a new structure centered on secondary energy such as PV and wind power. This will drive the industry evolving towards decarbonized, clean, electrified, and distributed. During the transformation, Huawei will help power enterprises optimize management processes, reduce production costs, improve operation security, and innovate business models. It will also help enterprise customers accelerate digital transformation to achieve the goal of building an intelligent energy system that features multi-energy synergy, ubiquitous connectivity, and intelligent interaction.

Renewable Energy Jobs Grow To 11.5m Worldwide

Renewable energy continues to bring socio-economic benefits by creating numerous jobs worldwide, according to the latest figures released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) today. The seventh edition of Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review shows that jobs in the sector reached 11.5 million globally last year, led by solar PV with some 3.8 million jobs, or a third of the total. 

"Adopting renewables creates jobs and boosts local income in both developed and developing energy markets," said IRENA's Director-General Francesco La Camera. "While today we see a handful of countries in the lead, each country can harness its renewable potential, take steps to leverage local capabilities for industrial development, and train its workers."

Last year, sixty-three per cent of all renewables jobs were recorded in Asia, confirming the region's status as a market leader, the new report reveals. Biofuels jobs followed closely behind solar PV, reaching 2.5 million. Many of these jobs are in the agricultural supply chain, particularly in countries like Brazil, Colombia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, with labour-intensive operations. Other large employers in the renewables sector are the hydropower and wind industries, with close to 2 million and 1.2 million jobs, respectively.
 
Renewables jobs have shown more inclusion and a better gender balance than fossil fuels. The report highlights that women held 32 per cent of total renewables jobs, as opposed to 21 per cent in fossil fuels sectors. 

Although precise estimates remain scarce and absolute numbers are small for now, off-grid renewables are creating growing employment, led by solar technology. Decentralised renewable energy can also propel productive uses in rural areas. This job multiplier effect can be seen in farming and food processing, healthcare, communications, and local commerce. 

Comprehensive policies, led by education and training measures, labour market interventions, and industrial policies that support the leveraging of local capacities, are essential for sustaining the renewables jobs expansion. 

The 2020 edition of the Annual Review highlights promising initiatives to support the education and training of workers. Such efforts revolve around vocational training, curricula-building, teacher training, the use of information and communications technology, promotion of innovative public-private partnerships, and recruitment of under-represented groups such as women. 

Policymakers must also prioritise reskilling for fossil fuel sector workers who have lost or are at risk of losing their livelihoods. Many have considerable skills and expertise to contribute to a reoriented, clean energy industry. 

The world has seen encouraging growth in renewables jobs. But it can bring about much larger employment by adopting a comprehensive policy framework that drives the energy transition. Never has the importance of such a push been clearer than at this momentous juncture. Even as the world is still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, humanity receives near-daily reminders of what lies in store if we fail to address the gathering climate disruptions. 

The need to chart a different course is undeniable, as are the benefits to be reaped. IRENA's recently-released Post-COVID Recovery Agenda found that an ambitious stimulus programme could create up to 5.5 million more jobs over the next three years than a business-as-usual approach. Such an initiative would also allow the world to stay on track for creating the 42 million renewables jobs that the agency's Global Renewables Outlook projects for 2050.

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