More Clean Energy Through Digitalization
- Apr 15, 2021 10:20 am GMTApr 15, 2021 10:10 am GMT
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Bill Gates’ “How to avoid a climate disaster” , is a deep dive into all aspects of society where changes are needed to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050. The key takeaway for me is that availability and abundance of clean energy is one of the key requirements to achieve Net Zero in all aspects of human interactions and existence on this planet.
My own interpretation after finishing the book is that, in order to create this omnipresence of clean energy (focus being electricity), we need a power grid, that is flexible to accommodate intermittent generation. However, often the only solutions widely talked about on the roadmap to create this flexibility, under the umbrella term “smart grid”, are those of storage, electric vehicles and smart meters.
In my opinion, there will be no complete smart grid without smart transmission and distribution power grid networks and a smart electricity market. In the same vein, there will be no smart transmission and distribution power networks and a smart electricity market, without digitalisation. However, unfortunately many network owners and operators are struggling with digitalisation, a key innovation required to achieve Net Zero. The good news, most of the challenges with digitalisation of power networks, have already state-of-the art solutions in other sectors such as in telecommunications, health care and to an extent in transport industry.
The question is how to bring these digital solutions into power networks, why it is critical that we do so and what are the big challenges that need innovation. I highlight three of the key digital technologies 1. Digital Substations 2. Wide Area Fast Acting Schemes 3. Digital Twins as examples, for deeper analysis.