The first Energy Transformation Dialogue of the Mitigation Action Implementation Network (MAIN) took place from August 5-7 in Sacramento and San Francisco, California. Organized by the Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP) and co-hosted by the California Energy Commission (CEC), the event brought together key energy and utility regulators from developing countries in Latin America and Asia to learn about the power sector transformation currently underway in California and in other countries.
Tremendous advancements towards low-carbon energy are occurring in the power sector. The price of solar has fallen 80% in five years, and the cost of wind power has been reduced by nearly half. Energy storage technology is on its way to becoming economically viable, offering the potential to mitigate the intermittency issues of renewable energy (RE). Distributed generation (DG) is reducing the need for large investments in utility-scale generation, and advanced sensors and smart-grids have the ability to effectively manage demand and increase energy efficiency. These new technologies and advancements are transforming the electricity sector and hold significant mitigation opportunities for the power sector, a large contributor of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change, while also increasing resiliency, reducing line losses, and lowering energy costs. The goal of the dialogue was to accelerate this transformation toward renewable and distributed energy in developing countries by creating a forum for in-depth discussion between countries and to learn from California, Germany, Mexico and others.
The dialogue built on previous MAIN dialogues and efforts to support countries’ work on designing Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs). It is also meant to coincide with countries’ current efforts underway to develop national climate pledges under the UNFCCC, as well as the launch of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which can help finance and garner national attention to reforming energy markets.