Why did I choose to give a specific focus on different aspects of innovation within the energy transition? Well, it is simple for me. I have focused on building capabilities, competencies and capacity to innovate for 20 plus years. Innovation has been my core area of focus. Today, I am channelling that specifically towards the building of innovationwithin our Energy Transition
The real imperative for finding new innovative technology is critical. We have such a real threat of climate change and any pathway to meet the Paris Agreements, where all countries pledged to keep the rise of the global temperature below 2 degrees C by 2050 and ideally try to work towards the position of 1.5-degree C above pre-industrial levels. These target goals mean bringing our temperatures down dramatically.
Reflecting back, moving forward. As we begin 2021, we all have had even more time to reflect on “that year” of 2020. For me, that was my “Energy Transition” year.
I really value these reflective periods. They allow you to simply “recalibrate” so you can at least start the new year off on a more purposeful set of objectives, those strategic stakes in the ground. Of course, you can argue these can simply end up as new year resolutions, often broken in the first few weeks, but hopefully, these objectives stay anchored into the ground as a firm intent, they become the foundation to build out from. Well, that’s my intent.
When I reflect back on the 2020 year, I have recognised the needs to make a significant energy change. As I posted my critical top six energy developments in 2020 in this recent post “Energy Progress- the best of 2020 leads to a great 2021″ it triggered a deeper evaluation to lead out to 2021.
The key to 2021, in my opinion, will be a real breakthrough year of innovation, based on technology invention.
“2020 advanced the commitment to the shift from fossil fuel to renewables that has real momentum in the coming years. 2021 will be the breakthrough year where the energy transition has the unstoppable forces happening.”
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.
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.
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”
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.
So I have just finished up my second day at the Siemens Energy Middle East & Africa #EnergyWeek. A completely different day that took the second theme of innovation into a deeper dive around tackling the decarbonization of the hydrocarbon industry, followed by digitalizing the energy industry and a final panel about preparing societies for energy evolution
It was a mixed bag for me. Innovation is my core topic, and energy is my major focus area to apply innovation to, so this was a day of expectations and insights. I am sorry it is a little longer than I would have liked but here you go:
Is deep decarbonization possible? The level of investments will be substantial and require enormous changes to the energy system we have in place today.
Taking a higher-level of decarbonization, I have summarized the critical aspects we need to consider when we discuss this area. I have put them in blocks of bullet points here in this opening decarbonization post. I am planning to delve into each of these in later posts. Continue reading “Themes for Decarbonizing, My Agenda Setting Post”