• Buildings as a grid: the foundation for resilience and decarbonization

    With the price of onsite renewable generation and energy storage plummeting, read on to see why today’s buildings will become tomorrow’s energy hubs—playing a crucial role in grid stability.

Buildings consume 30-40% of the world’s energy, so helping them use power more wisely is crucial to decarbonization. However, the potential here goes much further than just more efficient lighting, heating, and cooling. The combination of three key technologies—local renewable generation, energy storage, and electric vehicle (EV) charging—has created an enormous opportunity for building owners. Commercial and residential properties can now be transformed into full-blown energy hubs, helping to balance supply and demand across the grid.

With distributed and intermittent renewable generation making up more and more of our energy mix, grid volatility is increasing. At the same time, sector coupling and the rise of EVs is also causing more frequent spikes in demand, as highlighted by the Bloomberg New Energy Finance report Beyond the Tipping Point.

Motivated by a strong business case, building owners will play a key role in meeting this challenge. By uniting renewable generation, energy storage, and EV charging, building owners can enable a more stable and resilient grid, all while supporting the decarbonization of transport, reducing their costs, and unleashing new revenues. 

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Fabrice Roudet, Head of Energy Storage, EMEA

Building owners can enable a more stable and resilient grid, all while supporting the decarbonization of transport, reducing their costs, and unleashing new revenues.

Fabrice Roudet, Head of Energy Storage, EMEA

The race to optimize energy costs is just the beginning

A recent report from Aurora Energy Research found that developing the EV infrastructure to support millions of vehicles could amount to a €14 billion opportunity in the UK and Germany alone. The report also confirmed that onsite renewable solar arrays provide a major boost to the underlying business case.

When building owners seize the opportunity to invest in local solar generation and EV charging points, flexibility becomes crucial to balance local generation with variable loads. Onsite energy storage, like our xStorage systems or green hydrogen, as well as sophisticated energy management software, is needed to match intermittent renewable generation to demand and ensure resilient building power.

However, these solutions don’t just allow building owners to monetize EV charging and to drive cost savings by maximizing solar self-consumption and reducing peak demand charges. They also unleash the ability to generate even more revenue. Building owners can effectively monetize their assets by not only reselling excess power, but also by helping utility operators stabilize the power system and avoid the need for costly grid reinforcement.

Discover our combined intelligent EV charging and energy storage solution

In collaboration with the 10-year pioneer in electric vehicle charging stations Green Motion, we enable building owners to access the power capacity required to install the EV charging infrastructure they want.

Earning from intelligent power management

With the right combination of onsite hardware and energy management software, buildings can intelligently respond to the needs of the grid: ramping power consumption up or down to optimize the use of renewable energy and to help prevent outages.

We can bring the benefits to life by looking at one specific vertical: data centers. Uptime and reliability are crucial for these facilities, so uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) are a prerequisite for doing business. Our EnergyAware UPS solution turns this necessary investment into a revenue stream, effectively monetizing ‘sleeping’ assets. We put data center operators in control of their power consumption, letting them choose how much capacity to offer, when, and at what price, while helping energy providers balance demand. Grid operators will pay well for this essential new source of flexibility.

With environmental, financial, and pragmatic factors all now pushing building owners and grid operators in this direction, there’s little doubt today’s buildings will become tomorrow’s energy hubs—one building at a time.

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