- American Electric Power joined up with 10 international utilities to form the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP) to lobby for consistent policy and technological innovation in advance of Paris climate talks planned at the end of November, the Columbus Business First reports.
- The utilities, with a combined 1.2 billion customers, laid out four tenets including urging policy makers to develop a "systematic approach" to power systems that examines relations and synergies along the power value chain.
- The United Nations climate summit will extend into December, and is seeking a global agreement on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.
American Electric Power has stepped into the lobbying big leagues, joining a coalition of 11 powerful utilities to press international policy makers on climate change ahead of the United States climate summit in November.
But the group, which represents customers from the United States to Japan, Germany, China and Russia, did not make specific recommendations, instead outlining out four core principles they would like policy makers to embrace.
“Together, we are leading the way in the global effort to avoid, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by optimising technologies in the right mix, amount, time and place,” the group said in a statement. "By systematically optimising and applying the full portfolio of advanced technologies as they become commercially available, we believe that sustainable progress can be made over time to help meet global climate challenges.”
The group called on leaders to: establish clear, consistent and long-term policies; take a systematic approach to electricity systems; and promote public-private partnerships between government and private stakeholders.
GSEP also called for "urgent progress with innovative research, development and demonstrations of advances economically viable technologies that will stabilize and reduce greenhouse gas emissions." The utilities, which have 2.4 million employees, have a total of 4,000 working on research and development with an annual budget of about $3 billion, they said.
AEP has been embroiled in a policy battle at home to keep some of its aging coal fleet up and running in Ohio. Just last week, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) staff recommended the commissioners reject AEP's proposal for a power plant subsidy. Rising competition from natural gas and cheaper renewable energy has birthed worries from utilities over how to keep aging coal and nuclear plants alive.
The utilities include: AEP; Électricité de France; Eletrobras (Brazil); ENEL (Italy); EuroSibEnergo (Russia); Hydro-Québec (Canada); Iberdrola (Spain); Kansai Electric Power Co. (Japan); RusHydro (Russia); RWE (Germany); and State Grid Corporation of China. Combined, they delivered about a third of the world's electricity last year.