The Future of Electricity

In order to meet long term carbon reduction goals and fulfill the need for growing energy demand, hastening the deployment of decentralization, digitalization and the electrification of new energy uses such as mobility, is critical.  

The Forum has developed a model for a country-led, multi-stakeholder approach to adopting frameworks which would accelerate the adoption and deployment of these trends. Encompassing policy, infrastructure and business models, the framework approach is based on convening stakeholders and creating a shared vision and plan for implementation.  

The Future of Electricity Initiative has activities in several markets: 


• Colombia: Following discussions on Future of Electricity/Grid Edge Transformation at Davos in 2017, Germán Arce Zapata, former Minister of Mines and Energy of Colombia, launched an initiative to implement this framework in Colombia. Through a public-private sector working group, and in cooperation with the Forum, Colombia identified priorities for the modernization of its electricity system. As of 2018, progress has been made in establishing the mechanisms to implement smart metering systems, as well as demand response program and integration of decentralized energy resources. An interim report is available here detailing this progress. The working group continues to convene, and is also focused on defining a common language and architecture for cybersecurity, interoperability and data governance, to facilitate the regulation and lead the deployment of smart grids in Colombia.   

• Brazil: Following the World Economic Forum on Latin America meeting in March 2018, an energy system stakeholder group from Brazil convened and decided it is the right time to align the policy-makers, regulators, academia, technology start-ups and the private sector to proactively determine solutions that can be put forward for discussion with the new government after the last elections.

The group is focussed on topics such as smart metering, e-mobility, value to society and financing.

• Argentina: An energy working group has been launched under the World Economic Forum Infrastructure Public Private Working Group Initiative (IPPWG) to optimise ongoing transformations in the electricity sector. The group has already convened with a focus on integrated planning and accelerating private investment in the sector.

The Future of Electricity Initiative will continue to scale this model – at both a city and national level – as an effective example of a multi-stakeholder approach which brings benefits to society and industry, especially in order to meet climate goals. 


National-level and a city-level frameworks and recommendations are included in the following two reports : 

1) The Future of Electricity: New Technologies Transforming the Grid Edge was released in March 2017, which includes a national-level framework and recommendations on accelerating grid edge technologies. The report estimates that electrification, decentralization and digitalization have the potential to create value of up to $2.4 trillion for both industry and society.

2) Electric Vehicles for Smarter Cities was published in February 2018, which includes a recommendations to accelerate electric vehicle deployment and their integration with other grid edge technologies and services to create smarter, energy efficient cities. The framework includes on policy recommendations, infrastructure guidelines and business models examples, and is especially aimed for city-level policy makers and urban planners. 


For any information or details, please refer to Francesco Ciancarelli, Project Lead, Electricity Industry, World Economic Forum (

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