Electricity transmission companies are learning to ‘perform and transform’ in move to low carbon future

Electricity transmission companies are deploying various innovative ‘perform and transform’ strategies as part of the energy sector’s transition to a low carbon future, according to a new report from PwC and the World Energy Council.

Performing while transforming: the role of transmission companies in the energy transition is based on in-depth interviews with CEOs and senior leaders from 37 transmission companies representing 35 countries. 

The report explores how transmission companies are facing the need to ‘perform and transform’ by maintaining the security of supply whilst simultaneously integrating and managing the changes affecting them as a result of the energy transition.

The report identifies five key trends that are affecting how they prepare and re-think their operations and business models:

  1. Reliability in an era of variable renewables
  2. Long-term planning and working with new market actors
  3. Digital delivery – moving beyond the physical 
  4. Incorporating new (and uncertain) technologies
  5. Interconnection, integration and geopolitics

Jeroen van Hoof, global leader for power & utilities at PwC, says,

‘The need to deliver reliable and affordable electricity whilst addressing climate change is driving dramatic transformations of power systems globally. That need will only accelerate in the years to come  as countries seek to meet their carbon obligations under the Paris Agreement. 

‘From the rising interest in ‘green molecules’ like green hydrogen generated using clean power through to the potential for a global interconnected grid, this report offers views from senior leaders about how transmission companies can be at the heart of change and enable innovation.

‘I hope this report provides some valuable insights to help others in the sector understand how they can prepare for and adopt strategies now that can help them play a leading role in the transition to a low carbon future.’

Dr Angela Wilkinson, Secretary General & CEO, World Energy Council, comments: “As power shifts to a customer-centric system, transmission companies will need to play a new and increasingly active role in a wider ecosystem of energy players. They have an opportunity to drive green and clean energy transition and will need to earn their social licence to operate every day by making decisions that are in the best interest of all of their stakeholders.”