Technology Sync – The transition to a more sustainable low-carbon future is accelerating. This energy transition is driven by the progressive replacement of carbon-based fuels with renewable energy, clean air regulation, and direct and indirect electrification of more applications.
Today, energy flows through the grid in more directions and through more devices than ever before, and while that decentralization creates more complexity and challenges, it also creates new potential. Everything as a Grid is our approach to reinventing the way power is distributed, stored, and consumed.
Our Everything as a Grid approach shapes a future where homeowners and businesses can reduce energy costs and impact on the environment. Flexible and smart power creates new opportunities for everyone.
Transition to renewable energy
Global renewable energy adoption is on the rise; electricity demand is expected to reach 38,700 terawatt-hours by 2050-with renewables providing 50% of that energy.1
The highly distributed nature of renewable energy improves upon traditional power delivery models. Electricity no longer flows in a single direction from the utilities that generate it to those who consume it. The new energy ecosystem consists of a complex network of “prosumers”: consumers and businesses that produce their own energy locally, use what they need and, in many cases, want to export excess power back to the grid. In addition, the electrification of transportation, building systems and industrial processes will drive a considerable increase in power demand over the coming decades. Data centers, offices, factories, and similar sites can participate in the transition through batteries and thermal energy storage systems as well as grid-interactive uninterruptible power systems.
This will give rise to large bidirectional electricity flows that require a grid with the flexibility to cope with volatility and higher demand.
Planning for the shift to more electricity
Electrification of more areas of the economy, including transportation, building systems and industry will drive a substantial increase in electricity demand by 2050. It is technically feasible to meet this additional demand with electricity generated from low or zero carbon sources. However, this requires concerted government support through policy and regulation, as well as research and development to reduce the cost of new green energy sources such as clean hydrogen.
Businesses and consumers are participating in cleaner energy initiatives. Active corporate procurement of renewable electricity reached 465 terawatt-hours (TWh), with production for own consumption reaching 165TWh.2 On the consumer side, the price of electric vehicle (EV) charging technology continues to fall, while the accessibility of charging points continues to increase.
By facilitating the trading of clean, self-generated electricity to reduce energy costs, we enable energy users, both consumers and businesses, to participate in demand response programs where utilities can increase or decrease demand and/or on-site generation in response to signals for real-time grid balancing needs.
More homes, businesses and communities are becoming independent power producers that are less dependent on the utility grid. They generate, store and consume their own energy through renewable solar panels, wind turbines, micro-grids and battery storage. And they create a two-way flow that changes the way power is managed and reduces the impact of sudden outages caused by rolling blackouts, cyberattacks, and extreme weather events. These prosumers can also sell excess energy back to the grid and leverage demand response programs to help reduce electricity bills.
Digital innovation can be leveraged to make smarter business or personal energy management decisions. It is the transformation of data from appliances, equipment, or processes into actionable insights that help consumers and businesses drive new efficiencies, maximize uptime, and manage their energy footprint.
Through technologies that support bi-directional power generation, storage and energy management, we play a critical role in helping to meet demand growth and balance grid instability. We are reimagining and rebuilding the power value chain.
Embracing a new power paradigm
Homes, offices, stadiums, factories and data centers can now generate and store more of their own power to optimize energy costs, lower carbon footprints and, in some cases, reduce dependence on the grid. These are all boxes.
Traditional power infrastructure must be upgraded, with software and services that optimize every process, to realize the benefits of new energy. We enable a systems approach to infrastructure and technology integration that helps transform power generation and distribution for homes, buildings and utilities.