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21 Century Power Partnership
Overview

The nature of the clean energy dialogue is changing. The focus is no longer on how to incubate immature clean energy sources. Rather, the focus is shifting to understanding and proactively planning for system-level transformation.

By 2035, the IEA estimates $16.9 trillion (USD) of power system investment will be required to achieve the three goals of energy access, energy sustainability, and energy security. Massive annual investment flows will be required to support new generation, T&D construction and refurbishment, grid intelligence, and end-use efficiency. Ensuring that these investments happen at the requisite scale — and in a coordinated fashion — will require integrated policy approaches reflecting state-of-the-art knowledge across a number of domains.

The 21st Century Power Partnership (21CPP) is a unique platform to support the development of such approaches. By fostering multilateral engagements, 21CPP ensures global insight into the common and divergent features of power system transformation. By doing so, the initiative improves the efficacy of clean energy reform agendas and ensures that participating governments have access to international expert resources. 21CPP is supported through the efforts of three main bodies:

  • Power Partnership Steering Group (PPSG): The PPSG is made up of representatives from Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) governments and meets regularly to review Partnership activities, establish specific activities through a Program of Work (PoW), and ensure that the Partnership’s work complements and leverages other CEM activities.
  • Public-Private Leadership Forum (PPLF): The PPLF coordinates activities with private-sector stakeholders, including utilities, system operators, technology suppliers, investors, project developers, and financial services firms, and serves as a vehicle for providing input for the annual PoW.
  • Operating Agents (OAs): The OAs assist the PPSG in developing and executing the annual PoW; managing stakeholder coordination and outreach, research and analysis, and administrative activities; and supporting task-specific working groups, if they are established.
Key Accomplishments

In India, Mexico, and South Africa, the 21st Century Power Partnership is bringing global experts together with governments, utilities, and regulators to facilitate increased renewables integration and the deployment of large-scale energy efficiency and smart grid solutions.

Goals

The specific goals of the Partnership include the following:

  • Developing and sharing knowledge on key topics related to the transformation of the electricity sector
  • Strengthening and disseminating technical tools to accelerate the transition to a more modern electricity sector
  • Bolstering the capacity of experts needed to advance the policies, programs, and practices required to transition toward a clean and efficient power sector
  • Applying the knowledge, tools, and capacity developed through this effort to improve national and subnational policies and regulations

For more information, view the CCUS Action Group activities page or fact sheet

Key Activities

The 21st Century Power Partnership conducts activities in four focus areas, which each represent an opportunity to achieve better global coordination along the path to clean, reliable, cost-effective energy systems: 

  • Supporting country‐level policy and regulatory implementation. The Partnership facilitates technical assistance and peer learning to support national and subnational activities by working with existing country and development assistance programs. We are already at work in India, Mexico, and South Africa.
  • Developing and sharing knowledge. The Partnership coordinates targeted knowledge development and exchange efforts across Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) initiatives. The Partnership aims to advance research that is uniquely systemic in nature; for example, market design and regulatory strategies that promote both renewable energy generation and demand response resources.
  • Strengthening and disseminating tools. The Partnership identifies needs for new tools (or enhancements to existing tools) for electricity sector analysis, planning, and management. In conjunction with country‐level stakeholders and private‐sector partners, the Partnership supports the development of models and tools that will effectively respond to priority power system issues.
  • Bolstering expert capacity. Transforming the power sector to clean and efficient systems requires expert capacity. A key area of activity includes convening multi‐stakeholder knowledge exchanges, such as site visits, personnel secondments, moderated Web forums, and information databases. 

The Partnership leverages synergies across the Clean Energy Ministerial’s technology-specific efforts, such as the Multilateral Solar and Wind Working Group (MSWWG), the International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN), the Super-Efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment (SEAD) initiative, the Power and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) working groups of the Global Superior Energy Performance Partnership (GSEP), and the crosscutting Clean Energy Solutions Center.

Upcoming Activities

  • On 25 September 2014, the Partnership will convene an international roundtable event to discuss regulatory aspects of smart grid technology integration. The event will occur in Yorktown Heights, NY. Please contact 21stCenturyPower@nrel.gov for more information. 
  • In close partnership with policy makers in India, South Africa, and other countries of interest, the Partnership will establish multiyear schedules of multilateral engagements to help these countries meet their national renewable energy and energy efficiency targets. These engagements include peer‐to‐peer expert consultations, targeted research projects, efforts to improve and disseminate relevant modeling efforts, and other country‐specific priority activities.  
  • A series of webinars is being developed that will utilize the global CEM network of expertise to bolster expert capacity in a broad range of issues relevant to power sector transformation. Topics to be covered will include cutting‐edge modeling projects, innovative regulatory policies, and global best practices in grid modernization and smart grid deployment. 
Participating countries
clean-energy-ministerial-flag-brazil
Brazil
China
China
Denmark
Denmark
Finland
Finland
India
India
Mexico
Mexico
South Africa
South Africa
Spain
Spain
United States
United States
Partners