About

The Utilities for Net Zero Alliance (UNEZA) was established at COP28 with the adoption of the UAE Declaration of Action. This Alliance unites leading global utilities and power companies with the aim of spearheading the development of grids that are ready for renewable energy, promoting clean energy solutions, and advancing electrification efforts. UNEZA operates under the guidance of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions, ensuring a focused and strategic approach to achieving a sustainable energy future.

UNEZA’s Members and Partners recognize that the key to unlocking the utility sector’s global energy transition potential lies in the ability to deliberately target existing structural, regulatory, and financial impediments and challenges that may stand in the way of progress.

Members and Partners work proactively to address the barriers through global cooperation, knowledge development and public-private consultations facilitated by IRENA, and the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions and other Ecosystem Partners.


Mission and Vision

UNEZA is an international platform for co-operation within the power and utilities sector, to address and overcome the common barriers hindering the achievement of emissions reduction targets and the realization of global net zero ambitions. Through the platform, the Alliance will shape dynamic new partnerships in the sector and forge effective channels for dialogue with key public and private stakeholders.

“UNEZA is at the forefront, modernizing utilities for a resilient, renewable future.”

“IRENA's World Energy Transitions Outlook underscores the necessity of tripling renewable power by 2030. UNEZA is at the forefront, modernizing utilities for a resilient, renewable future.”

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Francesco La Camera Director-General of IRENA

“Utilities play a crucial role in delivering mitigation measures that align global development with a net zero future.”

“Utilities play a crucial role in delivering mitigation measures that align global development with a net zero future and are central to a future energy system that is in harmony with nature and the environment. We look forward to working on the design and delivery of the action plan during COP28 and beyond and invite utilities worldwide to join this community and demonstrate a commitment to action.”

H.E. Razan Al Mubarak UN Climate Change High-Level Champion

“Utilities are on the frontlines of global energy sector transformation.”

“Utilities are on the frontlines of global energy sector transformation, and as such we recognize the responsibility we hold to lead our respective national climate action agendas. This global initiative responds to the COP28 action agenda and demonstrates a determination from the sector to accelerate the energy transition through collaboration, partnership, and a clear focus on addressing the current challenges.”

Jasim Husain Thabet TAQA’s Group Chief Executive Officer and UNEZA Co-Chair

“Utilities can – and must – lead from the front. This Alliance is about demonstrating this leadership in a very practical way.”

“Making bold and ambitious commitments is important, but they count for nothing without meaningful action on the ground to make them a reality. This is where utilities can – and must – lead from the front. This Alliance is about demonstrating this leadership in a very practical way, focusing on the real-life barriers, and enablers, to achieving our collective goal. Collaboration will be vital, and we are therefore delighted to be part of this new and diverse coalition of progressive global utilities committed to an accelerated energy transition.”

Alistair Phillips-Davies Chief Executive of SSE plc and UNEZA Co-Chair

Members and Partners

Partners

Members

  • Hitachi Energy Company logo

Focus Areas

UNEZA's structured approach to achieving the net zero target highlights six focus areas that encompass various aspects of sustainability and the clean energy transition. Members of UNEZA acknowledge and share a desire to work towards these focus areas from now until 2050. These focus areas are further divided into four pillars driving change in the areas: mobilize capital, supply chain, capabilities and talent, and policy and regulatory support.

The UNEZA Ambition Framework below illustrates these interconnected elements as part of our strategic plan for a sustainable and resilient energy future.

Join the Alliance

Be a part of the change

Join UNEZA in accelerating the energy transition. Our membership is open to utilities, technology companies, and knowledge Partners. To apply to become a Member of UNEZA, please fill out the membership form and email it to uneza@irena.org.
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Resources

UNEZA Roadmap

UNEZA Action Plan

News and Events

    27th Council: Industry Driven Partnerships for Accelerated Energy Transition – UNEZA

    On June 14, 2024, the Utilities for Net Zero Alliance (UNEZA) participated in the session "Industry-Driven Partnerships for Accelerated Energy Transition” within IRENA 27th Council meeting. The session facilitated exchange among the IRENA Members and private sector on how the net zero and decarbonization goals set at the national level could be practically supported by the power sector for an accelerated energy transition.

    On June 14, 2024, the Utilities for Net Zero Alliance (UNEZA) participated in the session “Industry-Driven Partnerships for Accelerated Energy Transition” within IRENA 27th Council meeting.

    The session facilitated exchange among the IRENA Members and private sector on how the net zero and decarbonization goals set at the national level could be practically supported by the power sector for an accelerated energy transition.

    The IRENA Director-General introduced the topic, underlining that under IRENA 1.5° electricity consumption in end use sectors will triple by 2050 to over 87,000 TWh compared with 2020. Director General stressed out that to meet the rising demand, the power sector will undergo a significant decarbonization, which would involve an increase in renewable energy share to 91% by 2050.

    Mr. Noel Aoun, Chief Strategy Officer at TAQA, representing Co-Chair of UNEZA, addressed the IRENA Council to discuss the achievements and ambitions of UNEZA. He highlighted the alliance’s growth to 34 partners since its launch at COP28, underlining its significance as a valuable utilities’ initiative. Mr. Aoun detailed UNEZA’s strong commitment to tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030 and enhancing power sector infrastructure. Mr. Aoun emphasized the complexity of the energy transition, pointing out the need for a coordinated approach among utilities, regulators, and policymakers and highlighted UNEZA’s primary goal to broaden the knowledge base around current sector-specific barriers to the transition.

    Under one of the UNEZA workstreams, Mr. Aoun mentioned the development of an aggregated ‘demand signal’ through a joint statement of grid investment intent. By offering visibility on the potential scale of demand over the next decade, UNEZA members aim to encourage suppliers to expand capacity and meet this growing demand. This ‘signal’ along with a series of high-level recommendations to further ease supply constraints will be published later this year. Finally, Mr. Aoun called pointed out the urgent need to rebuild the global power system and urged utilities to join UNEZA in its mission to drive a net-zero future.

    The United Arab Emirates welcomed the involvement of their private sector in this multi- stakeholder initiatives, highlighting its crucial role in achieving net-zero and clean energy goals. It emphasized the need for clear processes and highlighted that partnerships are essentials to learn from each other facilitating an open exchange on the challenges each sector faces.

    Spain shared their views regarding electrification and highlighted the critical aspect to reinforce transportation and distribution networks and how the country is updating their development plan for electricity through 2023. Canada e highlighted the need of accelerating the deployment of clean electricity infrastructure to facilitate the nation’s transition to net-zero emissions. Canada highlighted recommendations from Canada’s Clean Electricity Advisory Council, which advocates for a risk-based approach to project reviews and permitting to streamline processes and reduce delays. This approach aims to foster faster, more inclusive project implementation while ensuring environmental protection.

    The United States of America (USA) expressed strong support for UNEZA and its model of incorporating the private sector into discussions to complement other global clean energy initiatives. The USA highlighted the Clean Energy Demand Initiative (CEDI), which collaborates with countries and corporations across various sectors to deploy clean energy and stimulate broader economic growth. The CEDI initiative aims to build a stable platform for companies committed to using 100% renewable energy by 2050 or earlier, which presents challenges in power systems historically designed for fossil fuels. Additionally, the U.S. discussed the significant energy demands anticipated from data centers due to the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

    The European Union (EU) highlighted the significance of public-private cooperation in the energy sector, emphasizing its role in providing long-term visibility necessary for spurring investments in grids and renewable energy generation. The EU stressed the importance of international cooperation and multi-stakeholder platforms to facilitate the decarbonization of electricity production and the build-out of energy infrastructure. The EU is committed to enhancing dialogue with stakeholders through initiatives like the Grids action plan, addressing regulatory barriers through the Net Zero Industry Act, and implementing strategies to increase renewable energy deployment and grid development. These efforts are part of a broader strategy to secure investment and streamline processes to support the transition to a low- carbon economy.

    Singapore emphasized the crucial role of industry partnerships in global efforts to decarbonize energy systems, highlighting the significant investments required for modernizing power grids and deploying submarine cables in Southeast Asia. These efforts are essential for enhancing the region’s renewable energy uptake by the end of this decade. Singapore has introduced the Financing Asia’s Transition Partnership (FAST-P), collaborating with multilateral development banks and philanthropic organizations to mobilize capital for bankable projects in the region. Singapore appreciates IRENA’s efforts to catalyze public-private partnerships and projects on clean energy investments and green transition projects for Southeast Asia, looking forward to strengthening these partnerships to triple the region’s renewable energy capacity by 2030.

    The United Kingdom (UK) congratulated IRENA and its partners for launching vital international cooperation platforms essential for accelerating the global clean energy transition. The UK highlighted the significance of collaborating with power utilities and the private sector to deploy renewable energy technologies and networks rapidly to meet the global goal of tripling renewable energy capacity. The UK emphasized the role of UNEZA in bringing together global utilities and power companies to address common challenges and assist countries seeking support. The UK also pointed out the collaboration between the Green Grids Initiative (GGI) and UNEZA to share expertise, engage with development banks and financial institutions to de-risk grid projects, and attract necessary private investments. It was shared that a joint supply chains working group has also been established under UNEZA to tackle global challenges related to capacity building and infrastructure development needed for the energy transition.

    Ministerial Roundtable on the Infrastructure for the Energy Transition: Utilities for Net Zero Alliance

    Global Power Utilities Declare Joint Action Plan to Drive Energy Transition at COP28