17 - 18 Oct 2019

Sixth Annual Expert Workshop: Challenges in Electricity Decarbonisation

Workshop

Background

The Sixth Annual EPRI-IEA Challenges in Electricity Decarbonisation Expert Workshopwill focus on the growing number of mid-century electric sector emissions targets announced by governments and electric utilities throughout the world, near- and long-term strategies to achieve those targets, and potential challenges likely to be encountered along the way.

Reaching low-to-zero greenhouse gas emissions globally across the economy by mid-century, consistent with a pathway toward well below 2 °C temperature rise, requires deep and rapid decarbonisation of the electricity sector combined with widespread electrification of the buildings, transport, and industrial end-use sectors.  While a number of electric utilities have announced plans to reduce emissions to close to zero (or even beyond) by 2050, how this will be achieved in different jurisdictions throughout the world is an open question. Certainly much has already been learned from countries’ experiences with high shares of renewables to date; however, moving toward even higher shares will create significant challenges necessitating new infrastructure and operating paradigms.

This year’s EPRI-IEA workshop will focus on potential pathways and associated challenges by which utilities may drive their emissions close to zero (or beyond) by 2050. The workshop will span 1.5 days and will consist of sessions on the following topics:

  • National and sub-national actions to deeply reduce electric sector greenhouse gas emissions
  • Electric utility ambitions for decarbonization
  • Market, policy and technology challenges associated with high shares of renewables
  • Role of long-distance transmission and cross-border energy flows in countries‘ decarbonization efforts
  • Innovative strategies to facilitate the task of deep decarbonization

The full agenda is available here.

The EPRI-IEA Challenges in Electricity Decarbonisation Expert Workshop series brings together leading experts from government, academia, think-tanks and the private sector from around the world to share experiences relating to decarbonizing the electricity system. Participants identify barriers and opportunities for the sector and discuss lessons learned from various approaches to decarbonization in different jurisdictions. Past workshops have performed deep dives into a diverse set of topics including near-term market structure, long-term decarbonisation pathways, security of supply and resource adequacy, and end-use electrification opportunities.

The meeting will be informal in nature and held under Chatham House Rule. Attendance is by invitation only. Please indicate your interest in participating on the registration page.

 

WELCOME AND OPENING REMARKS

David TURK - Head of the Strategic Initiatives Office, IEA
Anda RAY - Senior Vice President, External Relations and Technical Resources, EPRI
David HUNTER - Senior Advisor for Government and External Relations, EPRI      

 

SESSION 1. REGULATOR/ POLICY-MAKER PERSPECTIVE FROM VARIOUS REGIONS

What targets have different national and subnational jurisdictions set for their electricity sector by 2050?  How do they expect to reach them? To what extent will the solutions depend on renewable energy? Where are the challenges? This panel will hear from experts around the world as they discuss strategy and potential challenges for decarbonising their respective electricity sectors by 2050.

Moderator: Peter FRASER -Head, Gas, Coal, and Power Markets, IEA

Panellists:

Lukasz KOLINSKI - Head of Unit, Economic Analysis and Financial Instruments, DG Energy
Jeanette PABLO - General Counsel & Senior Associate, Energy Futures Initiative
Kaare SANDHOLT - Chief Expert, China National Renewable Energy Centre
Ashwin GAMBHIR - Fellow, Prayas Energy Group
Kazuhiro Kurumi - Deputy Director at the Renewable Energy Division, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan

 

SESSION 2. THE MARKET, POLICY, AND TECHNOLOGICAL CHALLENGE OF HIGH PENETRATION RENEWABLES

Various jurisdictions have significantly increased their renewable penetrations to date using a variety of market and policy mechanisms, with varying impacts on electricity prices and public acceptance. Looking forward, achieving considerably higher renewable penetrations—at the 80% level or higher—will involve not only effective market and policy structures but also a number of technological developments. This session will look at both lessons learned in applying various market and policy approaches to date, as well as technological contraints and potential solutions necessary to reach ever higher renewable targets.

 Moderator: Edwin HAESEN - Head of the System Integration of Renewables Unit, IEA

Panellists:

Michael PAHLE - Head of Energy Strategies Europe & Germany working group, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
Karim L. ANAYA - Research Associate in Energy Policy and Economics, University of Cambridge
Geoff BLANFORD - Senior Technical Executive, EPRI

 

SESSION 3. MID-CENTURY UTILITY GOALS AND HOW TO GET THERE

This panel will provide perspectives from utility companies from around the world on their mid-century carbon goals. Panelists will discuss their company’s decarbonisation targets, near-term steps (5-10 years) and long-term strategies for reaching them, and some of the challenges that will need to be overcome.

Moderator: Anda RAY - Senior Vice President, External Relations and Technical Resources, EPRI

Panellists:

Bernard SALHA - SVP and Head of Research and Development, EDF
Dr. Jörg JASPER - Senior Manager, EnBW
Andreas EHRENMANN - Senior Chief Analyst, ENGIE
Stephen KIDWELL  - Vice President, Regulatory and Legislative Affairs, Ameren
Charles ROSSMANN - Economist, Southern Company
Nicholas MARTIN - Manager, Environmental Policy, Xcel Energy

 

SESSION 4. THE ROLE OF LONG-DISTANCE TRANSMISSION AND CROSS-BORDER ENERGY FLOWS IN MID-CENTURY DECARBONISATION

This panel will focus on the role of the grid in deep decarbonisation. Can we accommodate high shares of renewables without long-distance transmission and effective cross-border trading? What role will the collaboration between distribution and transmission have for the future of decarbonisation?

Moderator: Alejandro HERNANDEZ -Senior Electricity Analyst, IEA

Panellists:

Peter Markussen - Head of Department Flexibility and Ancillary Services, Energinet Electricity System Operator
Stacey Crowley - Vice President of External & Customer Affairs, California ISO
Tawatchai Sumranwanich - Director, Generation and Transmission System Planning Division, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand
Asami Miketa -  Senior Programme Officer, IRENA Innovation and Technology Centre
Uwe Remme  -  Energy Modeller, Energy Technology Policy Division, IEA

 

SESSION 5. NEW PARADIGMS AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT: NEXT STEPS TO GET TO ZERO EMISSIONS

In order to get to deep decarbonisation new technologies and methodologies most likely will need to develop. This panel will focus on forward looking technologies and ideas that are not currently mature in the energy sector.

Moderator: Mark McGRANAGHAN - Vice President for Distribution and Energy Utilization, EPRI

Panellists:

John HOLMES - Director/scholar, Board on Energy and Environmental Systems, US National Academy of Sciences
Mark McGranaghan -  Vice President for Distribution and Energy Utilization, EPRI
Ainhoa ANDA - Senior Lead, Energy Strategy, Google
Adam Rauwerdink - VP Business Development, Boston Metal

 

CLOSING REMARKS

Katie JEREZA - Director, External Relations, EPRI
Peter FRASER - Head, Gas, Coal, and Power Markets, IEA