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The coming revolution in hyper-smart power systems

June 02, 6:23 UTC+3
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CHALLENGES:

  • The growing power consumption in the world driven by population growth

“We can see the global agenda: power consumption is growing boosted by the rise in global population. In the past century humans have consumed more power than across all of their past history. Global population is going to increase by 2.5 billion people by 2050,” Alexei Texler, First Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation.

  • Alternative energy is engaging into a tighter competition with traditional sources

“The concept of net back grid parity means that the cash cost of one unit of power generated alternatively matches that in traditional generation. The debate today is going along the line of when that is going to happen. This state has been achieved in a number of countries already. It is coming in Russia as well, albeit a while later. This is inevitable given that the potential solar and wind upside is much higher than that in steam-driven heat co-generation or even hydropower. We are definitely coming to a point when alternative generation will be cheaper,” Anatoliy Chubais, Chairman of the Executive Board, RUSNANO Corporation.

  • Climate change

 “Consumers demand electric power be produced from clean and renewable sources, and they are ready to consume only ‘clean’ products made with clean sources of electric power,” Maxim Sokov, Chief Executive Officer, En+ Group.

  • Delivery to remote areas

 “Energy storage today is probably changing the way electricity can be produced and delivered to people. <...> Especially in remote areas or in very harsh conditions. <...> And it allows as well to mange energy in a local way. So it's more a way to go through this energy transition,” said Ghislain Lescuyer, Chairman of the Management Board, Saft.  

  • Excessive capacities

“The system is getting less centralised against the backdrop of lower power consumption. <...> We are coming to a situation of colossal oversupply. As soon as renewables get cheap, alternative generation will be boosted dragging distributed generation numbers along. It will have to be considered how market regulation will need to be changed,” Grigory Vygon, Managing Director, VYGON Consulting.

“The Russian power generation has excessive capacities today, thus creating a great opportunity to decommission inefficient capacities. The primary task now is to decommission the inefficient capacities as long as we have this window of opportunity,” said Anatoliy Chubais.

SOLUTIONS:

  • Decentralised power supply

 “On this planet more than one billion people have no access to energy today. These new decentralised systems will not only be able to battle against climate change, but more importantly, they will allow people to have access to energy. So, it will be a way to really change the lives of a lot of people. We believe that it would be a way also to improve the life in big cities. The full EV systems will really change the face of all cities,” said Isabelle Kocher, Chief Executive Officer, ENGIE

  • Government support of alternative energy

“The country has established an absolutely working system to support alternative energy. <...> Storage of electric power on an industrial scale is going to become a breakthrough of the next decade. That is going to be a true revolution, a change in the paradigm. This is impossible to achieve without government support,” said Anatoliy Chubais.

“Russia is part of the carbon-free energy world. We ought to follow market trends. <...> Wind is most beneficial, that is why ROSATOM has moved into that direction in order to diversify our business. Other alternatives are available: low-voltage generation technologies, autonomous power supply, etc.,” said Viacheslav Pershukov, Deputy Director General – Director of the Innovation Complex, ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation.

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