Power Generation Trends in “3D”
- Mar 17, 2021 10:54 pm GMT
This item is part of the Special Issue - 2021-03 - Power Generation, click here for more
Digitization, Decentralization and Decarbonization. The 3 “Ds” will dominate as power generation capacity increases throughout the world. The “Ds” are important for different reasons, but they have come sharply together as the coming decades presage more uncertainty due to climate change. Electricity is a necessary and increasingly important part of our infrastructure for safety and economic prosperity and the forms of generation are/will be driven by the 3 Ds. This paper describes how power generation will adapt, what are the challenges and the wrenching changes already underway.
Digitization is increasingly important as automation takes prominence to manage assets, document findings for prognostics or forensics in case of unexpected outages. Decentralization is driven by lower costs of renewable energy which has fallen in price by several folds over the years. Consumers are also driving the adoption of decentralization. Early signs of this appeared in 2014 when people in the state of Georgia stridently opposed 800 MW of new gas generation and wanted the utility to consider renewable energy resources.. Consumers will continue to play an important role at the grid edge. More commercially available storage technologies are adding to that flexibility. Decarbonization is a mandate that must be adhered to as countries combat climate change. While the battle was identified initially in the generation supply chain, it is more evident today that the demand side must be equally decarbonized. Major industries—transportation, electricity, and cement—depend heavily on fossil fuels. Replacement of these fuels by hydrogen (H2 ) may be more beneficial, but would require enormous investments (and worker training).
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