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COP28: Unprecedented expansion of the global power grid is needed to ensure a low-carbon future

Nov 29, 2023

As COP28 kicks off, the future development of the global power grids needs to be addressed as a key priority. An interconnected power grid, also across borders and continents, is essential to the transition to renewable energy.

According to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), reaching national climate goals calls for adding or refurbishing a total of over 80 million kilometres of power grids by 2040, the equivalent of the entire existing global grid. 
IEA states that the power grid investments need to nearly double by 2030 to over USD 600 billion per year after more than a decade of stagnation globally. According to new European Union estimates, Europe will need to invest 584 billion euros to upgrade its power grids this decade.
As COP28 gets under way, the future development of the global power grids needs to be addressed as a key priority. An interconnected power grid, also across borders and continents, is essential to the transition to renewable energy.
All leading European power cable manufacturers building the infrastructure for the green transition, acknowledge the need to expand the production and installation capacity to meet the increasing demand for replacing and expanding the grid.
In NKT, we have just made a substantial commitment with a EUR 1bn investment in additional high-voltage production as well as installation capacity. We are determined to invest in the necessary capabilities and capacity to meet the demands of the green transition. To succeed, certainty about the committed demand, long term visibility, fair competition and a level playing field between producers from different regions in the world is required.
However, speed and economy of expanding the grid of tomorrow shall not be at the expense of sustainability and resilience. Grid solutions itself must meet high standards to sustainable design and production.
COP28 shall include making the right choices for the supply chain to deliver on the 2030 goals for the very long haul. The transition to a low-carbon future depends on it.
Kind regards
Claes Westerlind, President & CEO NKT Cables Group

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