Supporting energy and digital policy making around the world

ABB’s advanced technologies continue to be of strong interest in discussions related to energy and industrial policy around the world, particularly in view of the ongoing transformation of the energy market and the digitalization of industry. The implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in 2016, as well as growing focus on the internet of things and the data economy, are shaping ABB’s interactions with policymakers.

In 2016, ABB was highly active in European Union public policy debate, against the background of EU countries setting themselves the shared objective of reducing greenhouse gases by 40 percent by 2030, as well as the ambition to increase cross-border energy interconnections, to diversify energy sources and to make energy markets more harmonized and flexible.

Both individually and within its major trade federations, ABB provided input on technological progress and political challenges related to issues such as High Voltage Direct Current interconnections, smart grids, energy efficiency, and the electrification of transport. ABB has also been active on these issues in individual countries, particularly in Germany, Sweden and Switzerland.

There was also increasing political debate in 2016 on the opportunities and challenges of digitalization in Europe. ABB takes part in various initiatives on the industrial internet, such as Industrie 4.0 in Germany. Policy makers have been seeking ABB’s input on the digitalization of industry, with ABB providing advice on cybersecurity, the free flow of data, machine-generated data, education and training in the digital age, and the digitalization of the power grid.

Against the background of election year in the United States, ABB was involved in ongoing debates about programs and regulations ranging from trade and energy security, to environmental management and infrastructure development.

ABB supported the adoption of a global free trade agreement for environmental goods and also worked to advance North American cross-border energy exchanges and streamline infrastructure permitting processes.

The company was active in a number of areas. It advocated for a comprehensive energy policy to include pipeline, exports, energy efficiency, and renewable energy storage needs. It worked closely with policymakers to develop a strategy to strengthen, protect, and “green” America’s transmission and distribution grid, including physical and cyber security. And company experts also advised on advanced digital, wireless and internet technologies to enhance grid reliability and improve energy delivery.

In addition, ABB promoted regulations to enhance industrial energy efficiency and a rules-based regulation of wetlands. The company also supported the enactment of legislation to update America’s water infrastructure, reduce pipeline delivery leaks, and remove contaminants from community water supplies.

To meet America's future workforce needs, ABB partnered with technical schools and higher education institutes on programs ranging from advanced digital manufacturing to smart grid development. The company continues to fund engineering research on cyber protection and intrusion detection technologies.

ABB was also active in public affairs in other parts of the world, in particular supporting customers and government programs and initiatives in China and India.

In China, for example, the focus has been on providing advanced technologies to support government activities on energy efficiency, the upgrading of industry with digitalized technology, and the One Belt, One Road initiative – in line with China’s 13th five-year plan - to strengthen connections and cooperation between China and South Asian countries.

In India, ABB has been supporting a number of government initiatives, including Power for all, and Make in India, as well as programs to develop skills and technical training in the workforce. In both China and India, ABB is also supplying customers with innovative products, systems and solutions for a wide range of applications, including smart grids, renewable sources of energy, eco-efficient transportation, and digitalized industrial growth and productivity.