Renewable vitality is transferring into a brand new stage in its evolution.

By Allen Austin, ABB

Renewables account for greater than two thirds of recent producing capability additions within the U.S. This signifies that renewable vitality is claiming an rising share of the nationwide technology combine. EIA estimates that wind energy accounted for 9% of U.S. electrical energy technology in 2020., surpassing hydropower because the predominant renewable electrical energy technology supply in 2019.

The company expects wind to make up 31% of the almost 40GW of recent producing capability in 2021. That’s almost double the share claimed by new gas-fired technology (16%). Solar is available in first, accounting for 39%, based on EIA.

The trade’s maturation has introduced with it a significant consolidation in recent times. Vestas acquired half of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ offshore wind enterprise, Siemens acquired Gamesa wind, Centrica acquired Vista Solar, and Tesla acquired Solar City.

In the previous couple of years, ABB has made some consolidation strikes of our personal. We offered our photo voltaic inverter enterprise to Fimer, and we exited the high-voltage T&D enterprise. On the plus aspect, the acquisition of GE Industrial Solutions in 2019 added essential low- and medium-voltage parts and programs. These additions complement our current renewable portfolio.

For us at ABB, it’s an thrilling time. Our clients are pushing us to assist them maximize their efficiencies and enhance long-term sustainability with digital and cloud-connected applied sciences.

For instance, utilities right this moment are underneath excessive stress to offer dependable high-quality energy at aggressive costs whereas decreasing environmental footprint. Trends in the direction of decentralized energy technology from renewable sources additional problem established grid constructions and require versatile and clever options.

Ultimately, it’s clients—and their wants—that drive any provider’s technique. It’s clear that utilities and others within the renewable house are more and more centered on know-how that may decrease prices and scale back threat. Condition monitoring on wind generators, for instance, feeds into predictive upkeep. It additionally establishes a foundation for long-term capex planning by figuring out the potential for numerous kinds of element failure sooner or later.

Customers are adopting these digitally-enabled capabilities extra broadly on daily basis. Technology is now not only for “early adopters”.

The subsequent step for us now could be working with our utility clients to knit collectively the —low-voltage parts in wind generators, medium-voltage switchgear, vitality storage—with cloud-based software program and analytics. That means creating the ABB Ability platform that brings these digital capabilities along with the gear within the subject.

As the price of underlying applied sciences, like sensors, continues to say no and analytics change into extra refined, clients have extra selections. We count on extra merchandise and programs to come back to market with linked digital capabilities the norm. In that atmosphere, as know-how proliferates, we see area experience as the final word differentiator.

There’s no substitute for expertise, and in upcoming posts, I’ll share a few of ours. We’ll discover matters from utilities’ transition to excessive renewable penetration to the position of vitality storage. We are dedicated to the renewables trade for the lengthy haul. That dedication means being part of the conversations happening inside the renewables neighborhood proper now.

Exciting occasions, and there’s extra to come back.


About the Author

Allen is the Senior Renewable Energy Market Development Manager at ABB Electrification USA. He started is figure with the Renewable Energy market in 2008 with ABB Inc Low Voltage, the place he developed and launched the native USA Low Voltage Products division technique for the photo voltaic market. Within two years, he achieved greater than 8X progress in photo voltaic. Since then, his duties have expanded to all renewables together with wind, vitality storage and energy technology for the Electrification…

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