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The Energy Transition Explained

There has been a lot of talk recently about the energy transition. What is the Energy transition, why is it important? Read this guide to find out everything about the energy transition.

What is the Energy Transition?

The Energy transition refers to the ongoing process of moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy. This is achieved by utilising green technologies such as Solar and Wind as a primary means of electricity generation.

This is happening both in the UK and on a wider global scale & it is not just the lowering of coal, gas and oil as a means of generating power it means a shift of the whole system. This requires not only technological changes but also, for some, a change in mindset.

Energy transitions are not a new phenomenon. There have been several in the past such as the transition from coal to oil in the 20th century. The unique element of this transition compared to previous ones is the urgency is being driven by the need to protect the planet from the threat of climate change.

There aren’t just environmental benefits from the changes there are societal benefits too. The digitisation of the electricity grids can bring about new benefits and opportunities for consumers and benefits alike.

What is a Just Energy transition?

A Just energy transition is a transition to green and renewable sources of electricity generation but also being affordable, sustainable, and reliable for people and the planet. Balancing affordable, sustainable, and reliable energy is sometimes referred to as the Energy Trilemma. The transition to green electricity generation must not create new forms of energy inequality and there is an opportunity to ensure the progress being made benefits everyone

Stormy Sea casued by global warming

Why is the global energy transition important?

As part of COP21 in 2015 much of the world signed up to a pledge to achieve Net Zero carbon by 2050. As part of this target to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions electricity generation must transition from using fossil fuels to renewable green technologies and solutions.

According to NASA in 2020 the average temperature of Earth was just over 1 degree warmer than the baseline 1950-1980 mean. This means that global warming in addition to causing the ice caps to melt and sea levels to rise is also causing an increase in extreme weather patterns and an increase in desertification.

Rising sea levels will result in increased coastal flooding, beach erosion, salinisation of water supplies and other impacts on humans and increased temperatures will result in irreparable damage to ecological systems such as coral reefs.

A report in 2018 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said a rise of over 1.5 degrees would be catastrophic for coral reefs which support a quarter of all marine life including over 4000 species of fish and which also provide a source of income of food for over half a billion people. The Energy transition is one of the most important tools in the fight against global warming.

Energy Transition Challenges for businesses?

One of biggest challenges associated with the energy transition is increasing unreliability of power generation. The UK has historically had a highly reliable power grid; however with the increased reliance on renewable forms of generation this may change if not properly managed.

Another risk is that the cost of the transition will be borne by the consumer, either households or businesses.

The Energy Transition Question: What’s your energy transition strategy?

Every business needs to understand what the energy transition means for them. Organisations should have a strategy for the energy transition along side their net zero strategy. Understanding the risks and challenges to navigate the energy transition and work towards net zero. Is your business prepared for potential blackouts and brownouts? And how will your business reach net zero? These are all vitally important questions businesses need to be able to answer soon.

Your net zero strategy can’t just be to offset your carbon emissions unless effort is undertaken to reduce emissions in the first place. It’s important everyone and every business helps to tackle the root causes of global warming as soon as possible. While Net Zero 2050 is an admirable goal, more needs to be done now to make it achievable.

wind power plant

Energy transition technology & solutions

There are a number of technologies and solutions available from Powerstar to help you with your own net-zero strategy and to minimise the risks associated with the energy transition for your business. There are opportunities too such as utilising grid services, to increase your revenue streams. Utilising battery storage at peak times can help lower the overall demand to the grid meaning there is less pressure to use less green forms of electricity generation and the battery can be recharged using clean energy when demand is lower.

With a less reliable power grid from transitioning to less reliable forms of generation resilience will be at the forefront of many organisations’ minds. For many, being able to continue working in the event of a blackout or brown out is vital to their bottom line. A lost manufacturing cycle could mean the difference between profit and loss. For Healthcare organisations it could literally be the difference between life and death.

Other technologies such as Voltage Optimisation can have the multiple benefits of reduced emissions and costs. It can also potentially prolong the life of your electrical equipment meaning less maintenance costs and replacements for your business but also less need for more equipment to be manufactured.

Replacing existing ageing transformers with a new low loss amorphous core transformer can significantly reduce power losses, in some cases by up to 75%. Couple these technologies with a smart energy management system that enables you to optimise energy use through accurate load monitoring planning for greater efficiencies. Decentralised power generation and smart grids require smart management and intelligent flexibility to be as efficient as possible.

Energy Transition Conclusions

The Energy Transition is real, it’s already happening, and it needs to happen as quickly as possible. However, anyone who is under the impression that it will only affect the environment is mistaken and there are benefits for consumers and businesses alike. It will affect almost every business and organisation in some way. It will be important for most businesses to grasp this opportunity to ensure they gain the maximum benefit for their organisation.

Contact the Powerstar team today and see how we can help you with your energy transition and net-zero strategy.

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