Are you falling into the Innovation Energy Trap?

We are falling into a real trap around the efforts of much of the invention and innovation we are putting into the Energy Process. We have the danger of getting our innovation balance wrong.

We are emphasizing shifting significant resources towards energy efficiency, not real energy transition work that comes from radical or breakthrough innovations. The focus on extending prolongs what we have and does not offer the transformation affect our energy systems do require to achieve a decarbonized world over the next fifty years.

We all are accepting that the energy system needs to undergo a massive transformation, one that provides breakthrough innovations in new technology, ones that do transform the energy systems. Are we striking the right balance between incremental and breakthrough innovation? I would question this.

The efficiency trap is a classic trap of all innovators. Efficiency often triumphs over other forms of innovation, such as a more distinctive range of solutions, that give breakthrough and radical potential. Why is that important? Continue reading “Are you falling into the Innovation Energy Trap?”

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”