11 Years Left to Flip the Switch on Energy

The energy transition: Contributions from all is needed
11 Years Left to Flip the Switch on Energy
Publ. date 29 Mar 2019
The World Economic Forum published its second edition of the Energy Transition Index. The Index benchmarks individual countries on the performance of their energy system and their readiness towards the energy transition. It provides a framework for countries to design long-term energy transition roadmaps by looking at their energy system's current performance. Furthermore, it highlights the necessary enablers that improve a country’s readiness for energy transition.

The 2019 Energy Transition Index is led by Sweden, Switzerland, and Norway followed by several other European countries to complete the top 10. The first non-European country comes home in 11th place, Latin America’s Uruguay. The country listed as number 25 is Spain, which is the last country to submit its national energy plans aligned with the EU framework, back in late 2018.

2030 objectives are still well away

Sub-targets of SDG 7 highlight to substantially increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix and to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030. Moreover, the European Parliament and the Council in the Renewable Energy Directive have set a minimum renewable energy target of 32%. Insights in achieving these scenarios are not looking optimistic. Progress is made, however; the lack of decarbonization and electrification across all sectors cause the fact that objective is hardly achievable. The conclusion is that we need to move faster; we only have 11 years left. Therefore, the big question that remains is, what are you as a company going to do to contribute to the global energy challenge?

Iberdrola – moving beyond the Spanish Energy Plan

At the end of 2018, Spain published its national energy plan, as the last country in the European Union to do so. The Spanish plan highlights the country’s commitments to have 74% of electrical generation sourced from renewables by 2030. Twenty years later, all electricity has to come from renewable sources. Until now, the European Union has been in charge of the transition and because of the development of the national plan in Spain, the country also starts its contributions.

Bilbao based energy company, Iberdrola, has committed to lead the energy transition towards a sustainable model through its investments ranging from large-scale energy storage initiatives to the generation of renewable sources and investments in smart grids. All these investments incorporate a focus on digital transformation in order to offer customers the most advanced products and services. The company aims to achieve a 50% reduction in its emissions intensity by 2030 compared to the 2007 base levels, heading to be carbon neutral by 2050.

In one of the latest communications, Iberdrola announced that by 2022 it will have invested €34 billion in innovation and technological advances and better consumer connectivity. To achieve this, Iberdrola focuses on the collaboration with entrepreneurs and other stakeholders with the aim to further drive innovation in the entire value chain.

One of the recent examples is the opening of a wind farm on the Canary Islands which is expected to show an annual reduction of 34,453 metric tons of CO2, displaying a clear business case. Another example of renewable energy innovation comes from the Spanish island of El Hierro. More can be read in this related article.

What is your organization’s contribution to the energy transition?

Not only companies in the energy sector itself are working towards the energy transition, also other sectors are taking its part. Companies are developing roadmaps regarding the reduction of CO2 emissions, as well as the integration of for example science-based targets. An example is the Spanish Telecom company Telefónica who has achieved certification by the Science Based Target initiative for reducing its CO2 emissions. This certification ensures that the company’s targets are backed up by scientific criteria and therefore contributes to the Paris Agreement.

To guide companies in developing roadmaps on sustainability-related activities. Finch & Beak has developed a tool that guides companies in developing their own roadmap for sustainability. Plotting the Future is a tool that facilitates the development of a high-level roadmap for the implementation planning of a company’s sustainability strategy. It is based on back-casting, a technique that starts by projecting a future objective on a time horizon and then plans backward towards the present. Information on the tool and examples of practical cases that deep-dive on companies with a sustainability roadmap are also found in the book Winning Sustainability Strategies.

In case you are interested in learning more about how Finch & Beak helps companies to accelerate their sustainability performance and ensures that they are focusing on what matters most to them, please contact Bas Nuijten, Senior Consultant, at bas@finchandbeak.com or say hello by calling +31 6 28 02 18 80.

About Bas Nuijten

Sustainability professional aiming to help organizations to continuously improve their sustainability strategies.    bas@finchandbeak.com

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