To decarbonize the energy supply chain, we can’t just look at power generation. Switching to green hydrogen, solar, wind, and other renewables is all well and good, but we also need to rethink power distribution. We must find new ways to integrate renewables effectively into both existing and future power grids. And that’s challenging not just because of the varied types of future power production, but also because of the sheer volume of generation.
In the London power network alone, a move from 300 to 3,000,000 sources of generation is expected—all on a network that was built decades ago and originally designed to be single-flow. Amid accelerating renewable energy production, more and more electric vehicles (EVs), and aging infrastructure, it’s essential to move to modernized ‘Grids of the Future’.
Amid accelerating renewable energy production, more and more electric vehicles, and aging infrastructure, it’s essential to move to modernized ‘Grids of the Future’.
One of the biggest drivers of change in today’s power grids is the tremendous impetus for direct current (DC) in the network. The rise of applications that natively produce or use DC power—including renewable generation, as well as electric vehicles and energy storage technologies—is causing a shift away from traditional alternating current (AC) technologies. To decarbonize the energy system, we must be able to harness these DC solutions. That will demand the seamless integration of new power converters, disconnectors, protection devices, and more.
Switches are another crucial technology for a low-carbon energy supply chain, especially as renewable solar arrays and wind turbines become a more common sight and excess energy is sold back into the grid. Right now, power grids are designed to be one-way. But in networks with a bidirectional electricity flow, the amount of switching must dramatically increase—not just to manage variable generation and complex power consumption, but also to protect the network itself.
From supplying critical components, to integrating new technologies, we can help improve reliability and safety as the world moves fast to decarbonize the energy supply chain. We’re working on the technologies that tomorrow’s energy generators and energy users will depend on, and we have a great track record of solving tough challenges and pioneering new solutions.
It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to support this power revolution and to help create a low-carbon future. We’ll be able to make an innovative contribution to the future power grids enabling ubiquitous renewable generation, millions of electric vehicles, robust energy storage, and more—ultimately building a sustainable future for the next generation.