Apart from less carbon intensive sources of energy, you also mentioned a more efficient use of energy as a way to reach climate targets. In this context, smart grids can play an important role. Siemens is very active in this field, and has also partnered with you with regards to smart grid technology. What is it, though, that makes a grid smart and energy efficient?
“Smart grid” means a number of things. Firstly, more information is available about the electricity grid than ever before. This is due to digitalization, to sensors and their costs coming down. If you think of all the information in your smartphone, the same principle applies to a smart grid. Another central aspect of a smart grid is the sophistication of your control systems, your ability to manage the flow of power. This can now be optimized in ways that have never been possible in the past.
This increase in information and control over the grid has several implications that enable us to reduce peak demand. In this manner, a smart grid helps to reduce carbon emissions.
So far, we have mainly talked about climate change in terms of mitigation, that is, the reduction of carbon emissions. Another aspect is adaptation. What is CLP’s take on that?
We have to expect that we will see more extreme weather patterns, and we need to adapt to them. For example, in Hong Kong, the electricity supply is affected by typhoons, and we will see weather changes even with only a small increase in global temperature. So we need to make our grids more robust. We are working on this since about 10 years, for example by strengthening all transmission lines and substations to be able to cope with stronger storms. Smart grids are also instrumental here, because they enable us to react faster and more precisely, and to redirect the flow of energy if needed so that our customers will not be affected.