Working on energy and industrial policy

As part of our public affairs activities, ABB is involved in discussions related to energy and industrial policy in different parts of the world. One such area is in the European Union (EU) where markets in which ABB operates continue to be affected by EU policies and regulations.

Our main focus in 2015 was on EU energy policy, following the publication by the European Commission of its strategy for a resilient Energy Union, building on its climate and energy goals for 2020, 2030 and 2050. ABB subscribes to the vision laid out in this strategy “of an integrated, continent-wide energy system where energy flows freely across borders, based on competition and the best possible use of resources.”

We believe the Energy Union must urgently be translated into more concrete rules. Predictability is essential because the energy sector has long investment cycles, and the amount of investment needed is very large.

In addition to energy policy, ABB has also been following developments on EU policies on environmental emissions, such as those covering transport and industrial appliances, as well as a number of trade-related issues. We maintain a dialogue with EU institutions to support political and regulatory conditions which enable the uptake of clean and efficient technologies, and encourage further research and development.

In the United States, the administration’s regulations on power plant emissions and cross-border energy transfers were the focus of much government activity in 2015. Despite the controversy surrounding the administration’s clean power plan, most US utilities are moving from coal to a mix of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and renewable energy generation. This transition was supported by the extension of wind and solar tax credits, which ABB favored and endorsed.

Both separately and in concert with our major trade associations, we worked to help policy makers recognize the benefits of cross-border and inter-state energy transfers (such as new oil pipelines and electric transmission corridors), and to support LNG exports, and encourage smart grid and grid security investments.

Some examples of our activities:

  • ABB worked with Congress and the Department of Energy to successfully support an expedited review process for LNG export applications
  • We led efforts to support US electricity grid security through the enactment of legislation to create a federal large power transformer strategic reserve plan
  • We encouraged grid resilience by providing expertise on microgrid planning, technologies and execution through white papers, briefings, and programs for government officials
    Such briefings have secured ABB’s position as a trusted technology expert and advisor to government stakeholders.

Such work continues in many parts of the world. In China, for example, ABB has been supporting government activities in the areas of energy conservation and environmental protection in line with China’s 12th Five-Year Plan.

In 2015, ABB continued to provide products, systems and solutions with the latest technology to customers, including government agencies, in China. These products are designed for a wide range of applications – from smart grids to renewable sources of energy and eco-efficient transportation. ABB also provided reports to government entities to support smart manufacturing.