Magnus Hall, the president of Swedish energy company Vattenfall, today took over the presidency of European electricity group Eurelectric.
He succeeds Francesco Starace, chief executive of Enel, who headed Eurelectric as president for the last two years.
Hall’s priorities during his two-year mandate will be to continue the efforts of the electricity industry to become carbon-neutral by 2045 and play a key role in Europe’s energy transition.
“Electrification is the key enabler of a carbon-neutral future in Europe,” he said, as his appointment was announced today at Eurelectric’s annual summit in Florence, Italy.
“We want to cooperate with policymakers and industry to accelerate electrification in transport, heating and industry.
“Powered by carbon-neutral electricity, we can lead the transition in the energy industry and other sectors. This requires further investments in renewable electricity generation, as well as efficient electricity distribution. We also need to help citizens change towards a fossil free life.”
He added that “the conditions and starting points naturally differ in European countries and therefore we also need politicians within the EU to decide on frameworks and fair measures that create a broad social acceptance for the energy transition.”
He said that he wanted to lead Europe’s energy transition towards a system powered by carbon-neutral electricity, supported by a best-in-class model for electricity distribution. His own company Vattenfall wants to make fossil-free living possible within one generation and already some 75 per cent of its electricity production is fossil free.
A further priority for Hall will be to gain better insights into the needs of customers and identify new ways to support them in adopting low-carbon lifestyles. Eurelectric has pledged to advocate and analyse “ways to strive for a fair transition for all customers and cooperate with policymakers to put in place measures that ensure broad social acceptance of the energy transition”.
Also newly-elected to Eurelectric as vice-presidents are Patrick O’Doherty, chief executive of Irish utility ESB, and Leonhard Birnbaum, board member of German energy giant E.ON.
Outgoing president Francesco Starace has overseen a transformation of Eurelectric, which saw the adoption of a new industry vision and strategy, the streamlining of its internal structure and the introduction of a comprehensive rebranding.
“These have been two challenging and busy years, in which I am proud to have driven the association through a tremendous transformation, whereby electrification and decarbonisation have become the bywords of our industry,” he said today. “I am happy to hand Magnus the reins of an association that today is at the forefront of the energy transition as I am sure he will continue leading its journey towards an outstanding future for the European energy sector.”