In recent weeks I have been thinking about our business environment differently. The past few months have forced the majority of us to work in different ways. We have become in a very short time “remote workers.” in necessity and need.
Yet for many “newbies” in remote working, who have been working from home in these last few months, are now facing the decision of when and if they can return to their old normal of their office. It is a difficult decision and one that needs careful consideration and clarification of “how safe is this and what will have changed in my old working environment?”
Going back to the business office is undergoing such a radical shift due to the pandemic and all of what it has forced us to do; social distancing, being in lockdown, minimizing physical contact. The environment we work in is not simply a physical one, it has become a psychological one to manage as well.
Something that will take thirty to forty years to turn from being ambitious and full of intent into realization is hard to relate too. Hydrogen is one of those promised solutions that can potentially allow us to achieve our “net-zero” carbon ambitions that have been “set in stone” (The Paris Agreement) dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, signed in 2016 that we need to achieve by 2050.
Hydrogen is becoming a central pillar for many countries across the world to help achieve their targets to this net-zero by mid-century. Hydrogen holds, it seems, such a promise, but it is nearly all to do. There is so much to validate, prove, and certainly scale to make a real impact on changing the sources of our energy.
The more you investigate Hydrogen, the more you realize the complexity of making it a viable energy source of sufficient scale. One that will really deliver the suggested results that Hydrogen could meet 24% of the worlds final energy demands by 2050. Today it provides around 1%. To change our energy systems reliant on Oil, Gas, Coal, and make these renewables based on Solar, Wind, and Water separation is at a level of magnitude is hard to imagine.
I strongly relate to Smart Cities or Smart Infrastructure as the grouping area dealing with the business dealing with the Edge for final energy transmission or the final beneficiary, the Consumer but I do relate to Urban Development as a “greater” catch-all for thinking a little wider on the potential to engage far more.
There is so much potential in technology currently being invested in our cities and their infrastructures. There are many estimates of this investment, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, they estimated that cities around the world would need to double current infrastructure investments from $10 to $20 trillion annually, to build the necessary physical infrastructure to support growing populations and needs.
The Smart Grid is evolving and will be essential in the next decade to bring the kind of transformation our existing energy grids require. Infrastructures to be fit for purpose must be fully integrated and smart to manage the increasing complexity and needs of electricity in the 21st century.
Smart Grids are part of the Smart Infrastructure approach in our need for complete Urban Transitions currently being undertaken. Let me try to step back here and give some broader understanding of “smart grids”
Smart infrastructure connects many parts of the city both physically and digitally. Services that capture the relevant information enable the deployment and introduction of the appropriate assets as the solutions.
Smart solutions for resolving the demands placed in everyday events like traffic flows, energy, and water requirements, transportation utilization, or in managing energy peak demands or optimizing buildings.
Through digital understanding, you learn from what is in place to improve the future in designs, capability, and asset utilization through the use of intelligent data providing relevant insights.
A digital understanding can help predict many variances and assumptions, for example on load demands, on traffic flow, on shifting resources to balance the “system” for the immediate and future; all of these are based on the data collected and can be compared on the forecasts made.
To achieve this, you need a constant flow of ‘real-time’ data, not historical ‘lagging’ information, that is often out of date before you can evaluate it.
Energy is essential to the modern economy. It provides the vital power source of electricity for industry, for public services and powering infrastructure, as well as resolving domestic activities where heating, lighting, cooking can take place in different ways from traditional wood fires. Our growing reliance on communications, technology, and mobility all are reliant on having this constant source of energy.
As we grapple with the impact and effects of the CORVIt- 19 virus, we are rightly ‘transfixed’ on saving lives, keeping people healthy, but underpinning this is maintaining essential services. A reliable, constant power source is critical for hospitals, for our homes and work environments to support and sustain us.
In an extraordinary time of being “locked down,” we appreciate the safe haven we call home, the office, or the working environment. We are expecting it to be a safe environment for us to continue to operate and provide us the comfort and protection we are all looking for.
Having intelligent connected structures is playing an increasing role in our lives, in the mission of your organization, in your loved one’s daily lives; in offices, in our building like hospitals, in government offices, in research labs or schools, and most importantly in our homes.
We often do not recognize everything that goes int our building to deliver an optimal or suitable space for us to be productive. We assume it is there, working and functioning as required. It is when something goes wrong, we begin to notice. It is when we have time to stop and look around we begin to wonder how we can improve our environments. There is a lot we can do, and as we learn to work increasingly “at a distance.” Continue reading “Viewing our buildings differently for what they offer”
Energy networks are finally moving from century-old models were the power was flowing from centralized sources, based on the conventional generation of coal, oil and gas to the load centres and grids, based more on renewables.
Today and in the future, a new generation is spreading out across the energy networks, based on renewable sources of wind and solar and through innovative technology, into a more decentralized, distributed generation that the end-user can influence and control.
New solutions of Microgrids, energy storage solutions, and even the ability to localize renewable power is changing the energy supply business. In many ways, the end-user or final consumer is establishing control over their energy needs; they need to take out the volatility in energy supplies and build resilience into their system. They are looking for solutions that optimize their power demand, consumption, pricing, and overall management of their energy resources. Continue reading “Storage unlocks the flexibility within our future energy needs”
Is this the perfect storm we are facing today, or does that one still lie ahead?
We are all presently caught up in a global crisis triggered by the Corona Virus (COVID-19), and the uncertainties of this and all the imposed restrictions have spread fear and levels of panic that the stock markets went into a “meltdown” mode.
Then we had the breaking up of the OPEC+ agreement of the amount of oil to be pumped with Saudi Arabia opening-up its supply to cause an oil price crash.
What will further happen in the next few days and weeks is anyone’s guess as more countries go into ‘lockdown’ to stop the spread of the virus. The response to this is governed by the protection of life and the health care systems, systems that are rapidly becoming overwhelmed.
The actions we all take to protect ourselves; and those around us will occupy much of our time in self-imposed ‘quarantine’ or company-imposed remote work. We will attempt to function as normal but let’s be honest these are not regular times, nor is the future going to go back to these. We are in new territory for where the world is going
“We are even not at the end of the beginning, certainly nowhere near the beginning of the end.”
In our need to have in place a low-carbon or zero-carbon world, Hydrogen supply seems to be an essential part of that.
The ‘promise’ of Green Hydrogen produced with renewable electricity offers the growth potential that may be similar to solar or wind if we provide sustained investment and technology focus.
Hydrogen deserves the same levels of support that went into solar energy over the past twenty years to realize its potential. Hydrogen is an extremely efficient form of energy that burns the cleanest of all fuels, emitting only water vapor; Hydrogen is one of the leading green energy sources. Continue reading “Hydrogen: its future promise to decarbonize the world”