We are undergoing such a revolution that will have an impact on all of our lives within the Energy Transition. During the next ten to twenty years, we are in a race to transform our energy systems, one that moves from fossil fuel reliant to clean fuels based on renewable energy. We need to decarbonize and make energy greener.
The magnitude of realization of achieving deep decarbonization of our energy systems, the upending of fossil fuel reliance into renewables, and this undertaking of a complete energy system redesign is hard to comprehend within the time scales set.
What we do in the next ten years will determine if we can achieve the goals of reducing global warming by 2 percent by 2050. The cost of not achieving this will be significant for its impact on our lives if we do not attempt to undertake this.
The need is to allow time for new technologies to commercialize.
To undertake something like a global energy transition, you need time; time to figure it out, validate the options and pathways and then provide the necessary time to pilot, learn and then commercialize the (multiple) solutions to be scaled and applied. The cost of this transformation will eventually run into trillions of dollars.
The innovation aspect needs to gather momentum. Technologies are emerging based on several solution needs:
- Ones that are grid edge in design, meaning more customer-facing and power-flow controls
- Radically different storage technologies that can handle the variances in renewable of holding the supply of solar and wind generating energy as well as converting energy through electrolysis, hydrogen and synthetic fuels that serves the needs of mobility, heating, agriculture
- The present gas and steam turbines need to be upgraded, optimized, converted and have applied hybrid solutions that combine different energy sources, various technologies that combine to provide mixed energy source power plants
- The advancement of carbon capture techniques and carbon removal
- Exploring next-generation nuclear fission and fusion
- Finding different solutions that allow high-temperature superconductor transmission and solid-state transformers to be introduced increasingly into the energy system
- Increasing the transparency, reliability, and resilience through the application and use of sensors, monitoring, analytics, and self-learning systems to increase efficiency and effectiveness.
- Finally, putting to use digitalization for machine and device connectivity, managing growing complexity in overall systems
Each of these “demands” new technology design.
They need to be economically viable and scalable and need to drive a clean energy transition and provide increasing systems flexibility
These new technologies need to break into the existing lifecycle of energy design to substitute incumbent solutions. The speed of development and deployment will be unprecedented for use to meet the climate goals, decarbonize the system, and change the fuel source. Fuels that are based on renewables or green alternatives that can continue to use existing fuels of coal, gas, or oil that allow for carbon capture or removal.
Innovation will be at the forefront of the energy transition. This will be both radical and full of breakthroughs to achieve the goals set to decarbonize our world.