Coal, Steelmaking and Asia

Further major Energy Solution Providers have announced their intentions of withdrawing from Coal.

Toshiba will stop taking orders for coal-fired power plants in line with growing global trends toward reducing carbon emissions. Toshiba holds 11% of the global thermal-power generation market, excluding China. This includes building power plants, producing steam turbines and providing maintenance. While the company will stop accepting new orders for coal-burning plants, it will build 10 stations under existing orders in Japan, Vietnam and other countries.

Siemens Energy, which builds steam turbines for power plants, will no longer take on new business to supply coal-fired powered stations, it said on 10th November 2020 making it the latest firm to scale back fossil fuel-related operations. Selling turbines to coal-fired power plants accounts for a low single-digit percentage of the company’s sales or roughly 820 million euros ($970 million) based on 2020 figures. According to a recent comment, the business was profitable. Siemens Energy has stated it will still meet existing commitments, including placed bids, and honour service contracts for combined heat and power stations but not engage in further coal business (Source Reuters).

Also Black & Veatch, an engineering and construction firm, has announced it also will cease participation in any further coal-based power design and construction. This shift allows its workforce to further accelerate the creation of solutions that help transform the industry, including helping clients reduce dependence on coal power assets and minimize the impact of those assets to the environment. The company says its transition away from any coal-related activity is about a commitment to sustainability and accelerating efforts toward a carbon-free energy future, reported the press release.

The pressure to stop new Coal investment is building- is that really good? Continue reading “Coal, Steelmaking and Asia”

The many challenges facing the electricity industry.

Our landscapes seem never to change, power transmission lines spread out across the land as far as the eye can see delivering our electricity. Nothing seems to change, but nothing actually is as far from the truth.

The electricity industry is waging a sweeping transformation and in a recent report by Black & Veatch providing the present position of the state of Electricity called Strategic Directions: Electric Report, where they have gathered 600 power utility stakeholders to offer the challenges and opportunities that are occurring in the transformation being undertaken.

The challenges and opportunities are all caught up in a constantly shifting, complex ecosystem of everything, from conventional power generation to the renewable energies sources derived from the wind and sun and the significant changes underway in the use of putting in place microgrid systems.

I want to briefly summarize this report, one I would certainly recommend spending time in reading. Continue reading “The many challenges facing the electricity industry.”

Building the Internet of Energy

Getting to the point of the digitalization of Energy in a holistic way, not piecemeal as in the past is going to take a massive mindset shift within the energy industry. We need a dedicated internet of energy that brings energy together in ecosystem designs and platform delivery.

There are so many pressures to invest fresh capital to replace existing aging infrastructure, to adapt energy sources increasingly to accommodate renewables, and to build out the resilience within the energy system, adding new storage options and reduce the variabilities and demand fluctuations.  

You can go on and on in need to invest in a very challenging, changing environment for energy. Layering-in digitalization on top just adds to the need for change, we need to fully integrate it as a core necessity.

Having a greater insight and understanding of the management of energy is going to prove crucial in the future and “going digital” provides the essential energy transformation we need, being connected up.

I certainly feel we are on the cusp of a new digital era in energy. Digital technology has been involved in the energy system for decades but its time is now to be central to any new energy management system. We need to manage not just individual assets but manage the ‘connected’ energy system from the supply, through transmission into demand.

Digitalizing the energy system can provide much of the understanding of where, when, and what to invest in and validate the why in the relevant data supporting. We need a clear line-of-sight and data needs to deliver transparency and insights to all involved in managing or providing and consuming energy. Continue reading “Building the Internet of Energy”

Complexity, Debate and Many Starting Points in the Energy Transition

Image source and rights: Siemens Energy

I have just finished the third and final day of panel events offered by #SiemensEnergyME in their #EnergyWeek. I took the time to attend all of the panels, the debates, the complexities, and the significant differences as starting points in the #energytransition we are all undertaking was well brought home.

The panels were full of highly knowledgeable people, the hands-on ones that are dealing with the energy issues of today each day, and thinking through the ones for tomorrow. Siemens drew in Ministers, CEO’s, Senior Management, CFO’s, CTO’s and Director-Generals to offer insights and create the atmosphere for what I would call “creative tension” that good knowledge brings to a debate.

The third day was positioned on Sustainability with digitalization as key to the future of solving grid complexity and the growing challenges of renewable integration. Continue reading “Complexity, Debate and Many Starting Points in the Energy Transition”

Transforming the Middle East and Africa for the Energy Transition

Image source and rights: Siemens Energy

I am attending a virtual event held by Siemens Energy focusing on their Middle East and African region during their #EnergyWeek.

There are three days of focused panels discussing areas around Transformation, Innovation & Sustainability in Energy within these regions.

For me, it is highly valuable. I have had periods living in the Middle East and Africa, the experiences hold many of my important moments over a business career that eventually covered living and working across six continents.

Listening to those involved on these panels sharing their energy challenges, their concerns but above hearing of the progress they are making within their parts of the Energy Transition we are all undertaking was uplifting. Continue reading “Transforming the Middle East and Africa for the Energy Transition”

The critical need is the call for an Energy Revolution

The energy transition needs to re-design around a global energy system built on clean, renewable energy.

We need an energy revolution. Let me explain this in brief:

A unique part of the energy transformation we are presently undertaking is how complex this is. The change requires a massive overhaul to reduce not just our carbon emissions but to put in place radical solutions on how we generate, distribute, store, and consume energy in totally different ways than the present.

Our present dependence on fossil fuels needs us to drive exponential growth in renewable energy, such as wind, solar, and water, to achieve this change in our energy system.

The need is to decarbonize and replace our sources of energy rapidly. Continue reading “The critical need is the call for an Energy Revolution”

The Battle of the Energy Ecosystems Is Looming

We are currently locked into a ‘battle of the energy ecosystems.’ where our very existence is requiring one side to win, it simply must, renewable clean energy must be more dominant in all the investments we are making today and in the future.

This ecosystem battle is between those that are highly vested in the fossil-based energy supply system of today and those that are forcing change into a more renewable reliant energy system as quickly as possible. Stating a wish to move to renewables needs absolute clear, concrete, committed actions, backed up by demonstrable investments, away from fossil fuels.

In the energy transition, we require, we are pushing so much of the principles and theories of ecosystems to the maximum test in the outcomes we wish to achieve. The pathway to move from reliance on fossil fuel energy to renewables is long, complex, and fraught with risk. Yet the risks need to be taken. Continue reading “The Battle of the Energy Ecosystems Is Looming”

Capturing Carbon – the most challenging part of the Clean Energy Transition today.

The big four needs of the Energy Transition for clean energy are achieving greater Electrification from renewables, building out Hydrogen, sustainable Bioenergy, and Carbon Capture. These are suggested as the main pillars to get us moving towards the Net Zero targets of eradicating the harmful emissions by the 2050 to 2070 range. We have a long way to go in time, commitment, and investments. I also feel in belief!

We are seemingly on the right pathway to shifting the source of energy away from fossil fuels into wind, solar, and hydro. Yet, the costs of moving from the power generations we have known, change our transmission and infrastructures to cope with the change in the fuel mixes is a massive undertaking. Continue reading “Capturing Carbon – the most challenging part of the Clean Energy Transition today.”