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The world’s population is growing – the demand for energy is growing faster. This presents four core challenges for a sustainable energy system: security of supply, affordability, climate protection, and resource efficiency. It will take ingenuity to succeed.
The Whitepaper “Digitalization of energy systems” by Bloomberg New Energy Finance is focusing on how digitalization is shaping the energy industry. The paper examines the current impact of digital assets in the power infrastructure and gives an outlook on future drivers and opportunities in this business field.
In order to meet the sustainability challenges, measures must be taken along the entire energy conversion chain – from the utilization of fossil resources for power generation and transportation to improvements in consumption.
Working on the improvement of energy efficiency always has been a core driver for the industry. And it has made tremendous progress in providing innovative technologies that contribute to the better utilization of fossil and renewable resources as well as generated power. Still, this is not enough to meet future demanding targets.
The energy system of tomorrow will need to produce much lower greenhouse gas emissions than the one we have today. In order to do so, it will have to master a much higher share of renewable energy sources, fluctuating feed-in volumes, and increasingly decentralized production at ever smaller power plants. This will require many different market operators and technologies to join forces, forming a complex power supply system with new business models. So, besides improvements to each part and piece of the hardware along the energy conversion chain, in the future digitalization will be key to running a stable and sustainable energy system and its parts.
Take a minute to listen to the opinions of high-level experts:
Anyone aspiring to comprehend current trends in global energy markets must reckon with the words and ideas of Amory B. Lovins. Over four decades, Lovins has established a reputation as perhaps the world’s foremost authority on energy efficiency and clean energy solutions.
“The oil companies, just like the electric utility incumbents, have to figure out different ways to use their assets, capabilities and, most difficultly, cultures to compete in a very different market,” Amory B. Lovins said in a recent interview at his showcase green home near Snowmass, Colorado. “This change in the market is coming at them at a speed they can scarcely imagine and much faster than their cultures will find it easy to cope with.”
A talk with Richard Lancaster, CEO of one of Asia’s largest power utilities, about climate change and whether energy technology is ready to meet this challenge.
“Ideally, we would have no carbon emissions. But that involves a huge change. Meanwhile, we have the technologies to navigate through the transition. If you look at that transition, you can’t go for a perfect solution all at once. It would take too long.
This is why we will need more gas, more nuclear, more renewables – and a more efficient use of energy. We need to do all of these things”, Lancaster says.
The energy system has never been easy to handle. But with the new possibilities arising with digitalization, it has (and will continue to) become even more demanding to manage a sustainable energy system. At the same time, there will be many more opportunities for more players to participate profitably in the market.
Prof. Jacob Østergaard, Head of the Center for Electric Power and Energy at th