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Cabot Institute for the Environment: Low Carbon Energy
N/A | December 10, 2018
ESTELA keeps its members up-to-date about the latest policy, business and technology developments. Being the voice of the STE industry, ESTELA interacts with its members in order to exchange views and agree on common positions
Article | March 25, 2020
AI is certainly the talk about the hour nowadays. In high-tech industry, AI is the one with most potential. But before proceeding and discussing further on this exciting technology, we’d like to first understand what AI means-: As power is being generated from more volatile sources like solar and wind, the requirement is that power generation must react intelligently to consumption (and vice versa). With AI, we can evaluate, analyse and control participants connected to each other via these smart grids. With modern day emphasis on climate changes and increasing pressure to reduce CO2 emissions, we must find ways to have most of our power generated from renewable resources. The problem with renewable sources of energy are that they are unpredictable, which makes production of energy periodical and sometimes even chaotic. With renewable sources, there can be power outages or too much power generation which needs to be controlled. Smart storage, also known as Intelligent Energy Storage(IES) can effectively handle these disrupt changes in power supply.
The various impacts are occurring both now and into the future. Most changes don’t bode well for acting on climate change and transitioning to cleaner energy. Global carbon dioxide emissions are likely to drop this year, due to the global economy faltering. That’s not a silver lining to the novel coronavirus. It’s like a person who loses weight while sick. It’s a byproduct of a bad situation and by definition should and will not last. Indeed, since the Industrial Revolution, the world’s emissions have not gone down except briefly during economic crises. These incidents merely show how difficult it is to reduce emissions in an economically sustainable way.
The rapid growth of corporate renewable procurement has been nothing short of a buyer-driven revolution in the United States’ electric sector. Almost 20 gigawatts (GWs) of corporate power purchasing agreements (PPAs) were completed in 2019 across the globe, up from 13 GWs of corporate PPAs in 2018 and triple the numbers from 2017.1,2 And the majority of this growth has come from the United States. Fortunately for those of us committed to renewable energy, we expect this trend to continue. But as should be expected in such a dynamic, buyer-driven sector, we are starting to see some noticeable shifts in the marketplace as it evolves and grows. I wanted to highlight some of the trends Constellation is watching for this year.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted just about every sector of the economy, and that now includes the energy sector, according to analysts and media reports. Beyond just constricting demand, the virus had begun to undermine energy-related supply chains; the solar, utility storage and electric vehicle industries may be particularly hard hit, according to experts. The pandemic likewise threatens to divert regulatory attention from ordinarily pressing energy matters to other more urgent issues. Energy regulators in Texas and elsewhere, for instance, have ordered or encouraged utilities to suspend nonpayment disconnections because of the crisis.
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