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2024 Look Ahead: Our Future is Electric

By Philippe Piron, President & CEO of GE Vernova’s Grid Solutions and Power Conversion businesses

Our future is electric.

As we begin 2024, it is clear the electrification and decarbonization trends that began earlier this decade will accelerate as more industries – and consumers – switch to electric, whether that’s electric vehicle fleets, powering ports or decarbonizing heavy industry. With that will come exponential growth in electricity demand.

As countries and industries strive to meet Net Zero goals, electricity use is expected to jump by almost 50% until 2030, driving up demand for all types of electrical power systems, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Average annual worldwide grid investments are expected to reach $520 billion during this period, almost twice the $308 billion spent in 2021. This includes investment in modernizing distribution grids and establishing new transmission corridors to connect renewable resources, such as photovoltaic projects in the desert and offshore wind turbines out at sea, that are far from demand centers, such as cities and industrial areas.

To reach net zero emissions between 2030 and 2050, investment is predicted to top $1 trillion per with capital expenditures for power grids jumping from 30% to nearly 50% of global power sector investments as grid investments catch up with the boom in renewable generation that we see today.


For energy industry leaders, our challenge will be meeting that fast-growing demand. That will require both internal and external efforts.

At GE Vernova, our internal efforts have focused on hiring and training the thousands of electrical engineers, commissioning engineers, designers, project managers, supplier managers and countless other talented people we will need to meet customer expectations over the next decade.

Externally, for us and the industry as a whole, it means working to rebalance supplier portfolios and creating a multi-continent footprint of manufacturing capabilities to be less vulnerable to disruption, whether economic or geopolitical, and more agile to better meet market complexities.

This move toward electrification is essential if the world wants to meet its Net Zero 2050 goal. In the energy industry, we are integrating more renewables into the grid every day, but decarbonizing power generation accounts for just a quarter of our Net Zero 2050 goals.

In 2024, we expect to see more efforts to electrify end-use consumption, which, according to the Boston Consulting Group’s Blueprint for the Energy Transition, accounts for 22% of greenhouse gas emissions, as businesses and consumers replace technologies that run on fossil fuel for transportation, heating, and storage, among other things, with electrical solutions. Hence, electrical propulsion is expected to expand progressively within the automotive, rail, marine and aviation industries. In heavy process industries such as steel, oil & gas, and chemicals, electric-powered furnaces or heating systems are expected to increasingly replace traditional gas-fired furnaces. Large stationary battery energy storage systems are flourishing, and clean hydrogen through electrolysis is achieving greater momentum on a worldwide scale.

This year will also bring more emphasis on optimizing the design of energy systems to achieve maximum efficiency. An IEA analysis indicates the world needs to double its progress on efficiency between now and 2030 to further reduce carbon emissions – an investment of $1.8 trillion.

GE Vernova has a role to play in all of these solutions with its electrification businesses, which include Grid Solutions, Power Conversion and Solar & Storage Solutions.

GE Vernova accepts not only the challenge to produce clean energy, but also to transfer it from the point of generation to the point of consumption, allowing a genuine end-use of clean energy. Our HVDC systems make possible the delivery of bulk power generated by the North Sea’s offshore wind farms to where it is needed. Our direct feed converter allows the steel industry to ramp up its green steel production – today with super electric arc furnaces, tomorrow with direct reduced iron through hydrogen. 

Our software solutions, based on grid orchestration systems and sophisticated machine-learning algorithms, are designed to allow utilities to seamlessly integrate the supervision of the grids from transmission to distribution and microgrids. This meta-system creates a flexible and integrated power network that serves the energy transition.

As we enter 2024, we face a promising and remarkable period for investment in clean energy solutions that will drive the world toward its climate goals. GE Vernova will be on the leading edge.