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The traditionally stable electricity sector is in a period of dramatic change, with the rapid pace of technological development along with regulatory, societal and economic factors affecting the way societies generate, distribute and consumer electricity. In a sector accustomed to long-term investment cycles and stable policy frameworks, parts of the industry are becoming “uninvestable” amid a transition to new electricity systems that has introduced policy uncertainties and market design complexities.

Key disruptions include an increase of renewable energy in the generation mix and the growing competitiveness of distributed energy resources, as well as technological innovations on the demand side removing entry barriers and opening opportunities for new market entrants. To make the electricity sector more sustainable and prepare for disruptive innovation ahead, the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Electricity aims to examine these trends and focus on several key issue areas:

Becoming energy providers of the future – Utilities and transmission system operators today need to transform, reinvent, reorganize and reskill to deliver for the future. The council is helping to paint this vision and assess implications of how this might differ in OECD countries versus fast-growing markets, with council member experts representing all of these diverse regions.

Electricity security for the 21st century – Secure electricity is critical for a well-functioning future society. Ageing transmission grids, cybersecurity and climate change-related policies are taking centre stage amid issues such as intermittent energy sources and the consequent demand responses needed. The council is exploring electricity systems and their key points of failure to offer some recommendations electricity security to governments, companies and citizens.

Energy access 2.0 – How will India and Africa increase their rate of electrification and energy access? Technological advancements and lowering cost of renewable energies can arguably accelerate access while making electricity affordable for millions of people. The council is attempting to develop a clear electrification vision for African and Indian archetypes to enable and accelerate energy access.

Other relevant topics include the role of liquefied natural gas and its impact on volatility and supply of energy, as well as clear identification of options for making the electricity sector more sustainable and investment-friendly.

Contact Us:

Council Manager: Ramya Krishnaswamy, Head of Energy Utilities Industry, ramya.krishnaswamy@weforum.org
Forum Lead: Roberto Bocca, Head of Energy Industries, Member of the Executive Committee, Roberto.Bocca@weforum.org