The energy transition is well underway.

What do you need your electrical infrastructure to do? Chances are, it’s a lot more than what it used to be. Simply getting power safely delivered from the grid to your home, operations and building loads is not enough anymore.

In the next 15 years, half of the world’s electricity will come from renewable resources1. That means more and more distributed energy resources will be online and more homes, businesses and communities will be able to produce and sell energy as well as consume it. This energy transition is changing how power needs to be managed and optimized for homes, at a facility level and for utilities.

Eaton is leading this transformation. We’ve taken the “Everything as a Grid” approach to the energy transition and are unlocking a low-carbon energy future. We’ve been helping customers safely add more renewables, storage and electric vehicle infrastructure to their energy mix—to become more sustainable and resilient while lowering energy costs. 

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What’s driving the need for an Everything as a Grid environment?


Two fundamental trends are upending the energy status quo:

1.   Electricity demand is trending up after a more recent flat period in developed economies
2.   A centralized electricity supply is no longer the only reality

Increased electricity demand is being driven by how buildings, transportation and data are powered:

  • By 2050, analysts expect a 50 percent increase in the share of energy provided by electricity to buildings2
  • Transportation electrification is expected to increase global electricity demand by 27 percent in the next decade3
  •  Data and computing will demand four times more electricity over the next decade4

At the same time, the old model of centralized electrical supply is just that—old. Distributed energy resources, such as solar installation and energy storage, are increasing. The installed base of energy storage is expected to increase 13 times by 20305. Behind-the-meter assets create a more dynamic grid with two-way power flow and the potential for many different entities to produce, consume and sell energy.

What does this all mean? The energy transition is changing how you use electrical power. And electrical infrastructure is changing to enable this new reality. Multiple parts of the system need to be connected and dynamically controlled to ensure safety, resiliency and cybersecurity.

By 2050, analysts expect a 50 percent increase in the share of energy provided by electricity to buildings.
50
%
By 2050, analysts expect a 50 percent increase in the share of energy provided by electricity to buildings.
Transportation electrification is expected to increase global electricity demand by 27 percent in the next decade.
27
%
Transportation electrification is expected to increase global electricity demand by 27 percent in the next decade.
Data and computing will demand four times more electricity over the next decade.
4X
Data and computing will demand four times more electricity over the next decade.

Everything as a Grid: homes, buildings and factories


We’re already working with customers to apply our Everything as a Grid approach. Here’s how that’s happening and what our customers are getting: 

  • Increasing consumption of self-generated renewable power is enabling the Catholic University of Lille France to achieve a zero carbon future. 
  • Dynamically controlled distributed energy resources through a microgrid are helping our own Wadeville manufacturing plant in South Africa reduce downtime and energy costs by 50 percent.
  • Beginning to monetize previously under-used backup power assets allows data center customers to participate in grid frequency response, sell power and lower energy costs.

How will you advance this energy transition? Know that Eaton can help you get there.

Sources:

1. Global Energy Perspective. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/oil-and-gas/our-insights/global-energy-perspective-2019. McKinsey & Company, 2019.
2. Global Energy Perspective. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/oil-and-gas/our-insights/global-energy-perspective-2019. McKinsey & Company, 2019.
3. Electrification Futures Study. https://www.nrel.gov/analysis/electrification-futures.html. NREL.
4. Xu Elegant, Naomi. The Internet Cloud Has a Dirty Secret. https://fortune.com/2019/09/18/internet-cloud-server-data-center-energy-consumption-renewable-coal/. Fortune, 2019.
5. New Energy Outlook 2019 https://about.bnef.com/new-energy-outlook/. Bloomberg New Energy Finance, ESS Storage Outlook, 2019.