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SMUD Joins Global Coalition Utilities for Net Zero Alliance

California public power utility SMUD on Jan. 12 said it has joined 31 global partners to affirm its pledge “to fast-track a just and orderly clean energy transition.”

By signing on to global coalition Utilities for Net Zero Alliance, SMUD and others “are doubling down on our commitment to driving the transition to a clean energy future,” it said.

Shaped at COP28 in Dubai, UNEZA is a framework for global cooperation and collaboration and underscores SMUD's commitment to Sacramento-area decarbonization and SMUD's 2030 Zero Carbon Plan, a flexible roadmap to eliminate all carbon emissions from the region’s power supply by 2030, SMUD said.

Through UNEZA’s commitment, a coalition of 25 global utilities and power companies, collectively serving over 250 million customers, are uniting to advance electrification, renewables-ready grids and clean energy deployment, SMUD said.

The companies formed UNEZA as a vehicle for implementation, with the International Renewable Energy Agency leading the secretariat.

SMUD and utility companies will work to address impediments to the net zero pathway framed within IRENA’s World Energy Transitions Outlook and reflected in the 2030 Breakthroughs led by the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions.

The primary focus is on promoting the accelerated adoption of renewables and building the necessary infrastructure, while also offering a platform for joint efforts to address supply chain bottlenecks, support the flow of capital to the power sector transformation and engagement with policymakers and regulators.

SMUD is one of the first utilities in the nation to become a member of UNEZA and to sign onto the Declaration of Action, reaffirming the parties’ commitments to achieve “Net Zero emissions by 2050 at the latest and, in this context, actively pursuing opportunities and pathways to realize Net Zero well ahead of 2050.”

SMUD noted that UNEZA members acknowledge and share a desire to deliver advancements in six key areas: 

  • Buildout of clean power and decarbonization of thermal power generation;
  • Build up reliable, resilient and flexible grid infrastructure;
  • Drive widespread adoption of electrification in end use sectors;
  • Improve energy efficiency;
  • Promote technological innovation; and
  • Sustainable execution of actions to ensure activities are designed and delivered in an equitable and environmentally responsible manner that delivers universally positive outcomes.

Key actions in SMUD’s 2030 Zero Carbon Plan include:

  • Tripling renewable energy resources;
  • Optimizing customer-owned resources like solar and batteries;
  • Electrifying buildings and transportation;
  • Repurposing natural gas power plants and scaling new technologies like virtual power plants;
  • Long-duration energy storage;
  • Vehicle-to-grid technology; and
  • Customer-focused energy programs that allow all customers to participate in energy savings and carbon reduction.
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