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Philip Court's picture
Product and Company Strategist, Ecogy Energy
  • Member since 2021
  • 2 items added with 1,443 views
  • Sep 27, 2022

This item is part of the Enhancing the Digital Utility - September 2022 SPECIAL ISSUE, click here for more

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The climate crisis is real and is the largest existential threat to humankind that we know of. A key solution is to transition society's energy mix away from fossil fuels and towards zero carbon renewable energy, as quickly as possible. We believe that Distributed Energy Resources (DER) are the quickest, cheapest, and most equitable way to get there (of course, electrification of everything is also a given). In particular distributed renewable energy generation coupled with energy storage, smart buildings and other such controllable loads is how we decarbonize the grid. It is the very near future of the grid, with DER providing services and energy to the grid, allowing the grid to remain resilient and stable as the carbon intensity of the grid is reduced over time. Based on current observable facts, this outcome seems obvious although not necessarily guaranteed as there are many challenges still to be addressed.

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Now and in the future specifically, grid services are going to be more important than the kWh commodity that energy is becoming. This is evidenced by the fact that price points per kWh are dropping, while at the same time the need for grid services such as peak shifting and the like are increasing. Although these valuable services may not yet be fully appreciated, that will change and it must change quickly if the grid is to move towards decarbonisation in the fastest and most cost effective way [1].

Accepting that this change is underway, we can switch our mind to how best to enable this from a grid architecture and technology perspective (and getting this right will accelerate the process).

We need cohesive solutions that help solve the emerging problems (e.g. challenges like resiliency, energy security and very grid specific challenges like DER hosting capacity).

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Sep 28, 2022

Accepting that this change is underway, we can switch our mind to how best to enable this from a grid architecture and technology perspective (and getting this right will accelerate the process).

What's the best message to deliver to utility leaders who are slow to adopt the architecture updates? Too often it seems like they may be looking at the short-term and ignoring the need to build these platforms now so they can be used in the coming years. 

Philip Court's picture
Philip Court on Oct 4, 2022

There needs to be more industry collaboration.  Utility leaders are rightly risk averse, but doing nothing is not the answer.  There is a responsibility for all parties to be investing in the future, either by explicitly facilitating the path forward, actively developing the needed technology, or at the very least exploring and educating internal and external stakeholders on the emerging shape of this future grid.

Philip Court's picture
Thank Philip for the Post!
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