Technological Trends to Boost Energy Production
The utility sector leverages ongoing technological and energy consumption trends to suit consumer needs and improve profits.
FREMONT, CA: As decarbonization signals a shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, experts say technology will play a more important role in meeting market demands. A technological upgrade to the electric grid can help improve reliability, efficiency, safety, and security. The International Energy Agency recently reported that there would be explosive growth in wind and solar energy. Renewable capacity additions grew by more than 45 percent globally compared to previous years.
Ongoing trends in the utility sector show important factors that will optimize energy production in the present and the future.
Renewable energy: Energy technology development generally falls into three broad categories: demand response, predictive maintenance, and efficiency. Decarbonization is driving much of the change, and electricity was previously generated at large 1,600-megawatt stations and transmitted to load centers. Increasingly, companies and households are embracing renewable energy.
Researchers say the grid needs a coordinated supply and demand balance in real-time compared to other infrastructure utility structures. The difficulty of maintaining such a balance stems from renewable energy producing a much wider range of energy than traditional sources. It is possible to predict the availability of power sources and to control demand using information and communication technology, and the scaling up of renewable energy could benefit from this.
Digital technology: A digital twin is a virtual representation of a physical system that industry professionals can use to prepare for various scenarios that may impact the grid. It is possible to predict where things may go wrong by adding artificial intelligence to the digital twin. Modern electrical grids are more unpredictable and susceptible to cyberattacks, so this planning is increasingly important.
Grid stability: It is possible to make the grid more efficient by utilizing emerging technology. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can effectively understand and predict demand, then adjust it in a way that is beneficial to consumers and the grid in the long term. Power companies across the country have implemented a variety of incentive programs. Regulatory bodies and utility industries can give customers incentives to use energy-efficient thermostats. Companies can utilize consumer data to fine-tune energy generation.