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2022 - a year like no other for the energy sector (but there’s lots to look forward to)

image credit: Greenbird Integration Technology
Frederik ten Sythoff's picture
VP Marketing Communications, Greenbird Integration Technology

Utilities worldwide are starting to recognise the need to become a platformed utility that can innovate rapidly and offer new services quickly. At Greenbird, I can fulfil my ambition to help...

  • Member since 2019
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  • Dec 20, 2022

2022 was a year of change and upheaval in the energy sector. But as a result, it was also the year the energy transition became turbo charged. This has led to a clear shift in focus for utilities. Today, what I’m hearing from energy professionals across the world is that Grid Modernization is now a priority.  

Over the past year, the conversation around energy has entered the mainstream, propelled by the energy and climate crises.  What this means is we’re seeing the rapid increase in parties involved in the sector. Prosumers are taking an active interest in their real-time energy use and production to help lower their costs. Governments are driving the switch to distributed energy resources and encouraging the move to e-mobility. Retailers are increasing their pace of innovation to attract and retain clients in a volatile market.  

The increased focus on energy services and innovation is bringing (and I believe will continue to bring) many new players into the energy market, including companies from other sectors like banking and consumer goods.   But the impact of all these changes is also intensifying. DSOs face the growing challenge of balancing the grid with actionable insights from the Grid Edge.   

So, what does this mean for utilities as we head towards 2023?  

Real-time data is now essential for the day to day running of the grid. And as flexibility becomes increasingly important and grid balancing more difficult, Utilities have to focus on Grid Modernization driven by data.   

Utilities now need a holistic view of all the various systems and IoT devices helping day-to-day operations and energy services. And they need a modern platform to integrate and harmonize the growing volume of real-time data across the enterprise.   

No doubt this is a big challenge. But many grid operators are now looking at their IT architecture and asking for solutions to help solve their integration challenges. This is why more and more utilities in Europe and around the world are evaluating and selecting a modern iPaaS for their mission critical integrations. 

Wishing you all a happy holiday and a transformative 2023. 

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Dec 20, 2022

Do you think the state of rate cases are allowing for the type of funding needed for utilities to upgrade this? Or can this be covered without increasing final customer costs? 

Frederik ten Sythoff's picture
Frederik ten Sythoff on Dec 21, 2022

When I look at the benefits (reducing grid investments, reducing re-investments, optimizing lifecycle of assets & devices, optimizing loads in the network, reducing loss and non technical loss, the there should be enough funding and a positive ROI without increasing rates.

Frederik ten Sythoff's picture
Frederik ten Sythoff on Dec 21, 2022

According to the DOE, the US needs to expand electricity transmission systems by 60% by 2030, and may even need to triple current capacity by 2050 to accommodate a rapidly increasing supply of clean energy and meet growing power demand for EVs and electric home heating, as well as reduce power outages from severe weather due to climate change. The Biden administration as you know also recently announced $13 billion for modernization of the US power grid. The reality is that in order to reduce the investments needed to beef up the future grid, a holistic view and use of data is needed to work close to the design tolerances of the grid, shift loads using various flexibility services, and use real-time data that provides actionable insights for operational teams.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Dec 21, 2022

Thanks for the additional insights, Frederik!

Jim Stack's picture
Jim Stack on Dec 21, 2022

The best news for the GRID  is the Virtual battery that was done this summer in southern california by Tesla. They used thousands of home solar Powerwalls to help the GRID at a few kW from each of thousands of homes. It saved the GRID. It was at no up front cost to the utility. They just paid for the power they needed. It could also be set up to take a small amount of power from electric vehicles with V2G Vehicle to GRID. This would make event more power available for major longer outages instead of just a short time during duck curve times.  

Frederik ten Sythoff's picture
Thank Frederik for the Post!
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