Tag: energy

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Is the APAC Region Gearing Towards a Sustainable Future with Renewable Energy?

The world’s energy needs are constantly on the rise, and power companies are looking at all sorts of possibilities and modes to fulfill the increasing demand. It’s a tough task to produce enough electricity to power the needs of all the people across the world. A traditional source such as fossil fuel has been used on a wide scale as the most significant source of energy. However, due to environmental concerns and increasing emissions, governments across the world are slowly reducing their dependence on fossil fuels and are switching over to a cleaner source of energy. As a result, renewable energy sources have been grabbing the headlines more often. The APAC region has been regarded as the prime example for the adoption of renewable energy sources for their power requirements. Numerous reports estimate the energy demand in the APAC region to nearly double by 2030. The region is on the right path to meet such demands even after reducing their dependence on traditional sources. The Chinese government is expected to IR_Brochuremove away from energy production from coal, which kills thousands of people each year. So, what does the renewable energy future look like in the Asia-pacific region?

China

China is a world leader in wind energy generation and has ambitious plans to triple its solar power capacity by 2020. The country is aiming to raise its solar energy generation to 150GW and wind energy generation to around 250GW by 2020. Although the renewable energy sources accounted for approximately 14% of Chinese power, they expect to increase this figure to 22% by 2020. In 2017, China announced to scrap their plans to build 85 coal-fired power plants and instead pour about $350 billion into renewable energy. Additionally, the authorities reported that the country had exceeded official targets for carbon intensity, energy efficiency, and the share of clean energy source.

India

Similar to China, in 2015, India also announced their ambitious goal of increasing the renewable energy power capacity to 175GW by 2022. This plan includes increasing the solar capacity to 100GW, wind energy to 60GW, bioenergy to 10GW, and hydropower to 5GW. If they achieve this target, then they will witness a five-fold increase in power capacity in a span of seven years. Currently, India is the fourth largest installer of wind power behind China, the US, and Germany. India has been largely helped by the falling solar installation prices, with the rate falling as low as 4 cents a kilowatt hour to add 250MW of solar capacity in Rajasthan.

Japan

The shift towards a renewable energy future seems to be picking up steams in Japan. After the Tohoku earthquake, 2011 Tsunami, and triple meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, the Japanese government introduced a feed-in tariff system to promote renewable energy. The scheme made it mandatory for utilities to purchase wind, solar, mini-hydro, and geothermal energy at a fixed rate for the specified number of years. A report from IEEFA expects Japan’s solar energy to account for 12% of electricity mix by the year 2030. The report also estimates the renewable capacity to reach 159GW by the year 2030.

Others

The success of solar farms in Thailand coupled with positive development in other clean energy resource puts Thailand right on track to achieve its goal to reach the share of renewable energy by more than 37% by 2036. Additionally, the development of ultra-fast charging battery in Singapore is showing a promising renewable energy future as it can charge batteries up to 70% in just two minutes.

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Top Five Utility Companies Powering the Electricity Demands of the World

Today, electricity is a vital part of our everyday lives, right from powering big houses and corporations to small mobile phones, which are an integral part of our lives. Every utility company plays a significant role in supplying the power from the source to individual houses using the grid system. The costs incurred while building such an infrastructure is insanely high. As a result of such high costs, many developing nations are facing the issue of power shortage as they cannot adequately invest in the infrastructure. However, in the developed parts of the world, utility companies have set up massive infrastructure that distributes power to millions of households. It comes as noIR_Brochure surprise that the utility company from these nations are some of the biggest in the world. Here is a list of top utility companies in the world.

Duke Energy

Duke Energy Corporation, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, is one of the largest electric power holding company, not only in the US but also in the world. Its utility business unit provides electricity access to 7.4 million retail electric customers in Southeast and Midwest regions with a total capacity of a massive 57,700 MW. The utility company derives electricity from sources such as coal, natural gas, and oil. Their service territory covers 270,000 km of land with 402,700 km of distribution lines. The company reported revenues of $22.74 billion for the year 2016.

Engie

Engie, previously known as GDF Suez, is a French multinational utility company which operates in the field of electricity generation and distribution, nuclear energy, natural gas, and renewable energy. In 2008, the company broke the state monopoly and de-emphasized its historical role as a nationalized gas monopoly. In 2016, the company generated revenues of €66.66 billion by employing over 154,950 employees. In a bid to promote low-carbon distributed energy the company announced its decision to stop new investments in coal plants in the year 2015.

National Grid

National Grid is a British multinational electricity and gas utility company that owns and maintains high-voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales. The company is the only owner and operator of gas transmission infrastructure in England and Wales. The company also operates 14,000 km of electricity transmission lines in the US, delivering power to the areas of Northeast states of Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island, serving over 3 million customers.

NextEra

NextEra Energy Inc. is an investment company which operates in the US and Canada. The company generates electricity and is also involved in transmission and distribution with a capacity of about 45,900 MW. The company operates through various subsidiaries including Florida Power & Light (FPL), NextEra Energy Resources (NEER), and FPL FiberNet. With an aim to promote the use of renewable energy, the utility company attempted to purchase Hawaiian Electric Industries for $4.3 billion in the year 2014.

EDF

Électricité de France SA (EDF) is wholly owned by the French state and is involved in power generation, transmission, distribution, and energy supply and trading. The company handles 5 to 7 million customer accounts in the UK by the sale of gas and electricity to homes and businesses. The utility company is actively engaged in energy generation from renewable sources, which are reflected by its move to start the 62 MW offshore Teesside Wind Farm operations. The utility company consolidated its business in France and Europe to increase its presence in key emerging countries including Brazil, China, and Russia. The utility company also operations three of the top ten nuclear power plants in the world.

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Top 5 Hydroelectric Power Benefits

Hydroelectric power is one of the oldest forms of electricity generation dating back to hundreds of years where it was used to power domestic power lifts, sawmills, and to perform mechanical tasks like grinding grains. However, the use of hydroelectric power has evolved over time and it is currently the biggest source of renewable electricity. It also contributes to about one-fifth of the entire world’s electricity. The consumption and demand for hydroelectric power are continuously on the rise as it’s a clean fuel source and also one of the cheapest forms of energy today. Apart from generating electricity, hydropower can be used for agricultural activities, industrial uses in hushing, and powering IR_Brochurewater clocks. Here is how hydroelectric power benefits the society, nation, and the world at large:

#1 – Economic source of energy

One of the most pivotal hydroelectric power benefits is the relatively low cost of extracting electricity. For many investors, the upfront cost of constructing and installing hydropower plant can be very high. The prices include not only the plant cost but also the cost of building a dam. But once the power plant is in place, the cost of operation and maintenance is meager. As a result, the marginal cost of per kilowatt of electricity will reduce significantly. Also, since water is used in electricity generation, it is not required to be purified like fossil fuel. The source of hydroelectric power will remain perpetually and have an insanely long lifespan.

#2 – Renewable and clean resource

Since water is the primary source of hydroelectricity, the resource can be used until the end of time. A notable benefit of hydroelectric power is its ability not to consume water, as water powering the turbine ends up in the water stream again. They only derive the energy from moving water and convert it to electricity.

#3 – Eco-friendly

A recent report from the World Energy Council reported that hydroelectric power accounted for about 1,064 GW of installed capacity in the year 2016. To put that in context, each KWh takes about 0.36 kilograms of coal to generate. Thereby, hydroelectric power is an eco-friendly option compared to coal and fossil fuel, which accounts for a major chunk of  the total emissions. Also, using hydroelectric power mitigates the emissions of greenhouse gases that is equivalent to the combustion of 4.4 million barrels of petroleum each day. Additionally, hydropower production doesn’t have any toxic byproducts that would harm the environment.

#4 – Flexibility

An interesting hydroelectric power benefit is its ability to scale the supply of electricity as per the need. When the demand for electricity is low, excess energy can be used to pump water to an upper reservoir. Conversely, when the demand for electricity surges, the stored water is released to power the turbines. The drawback of other form of energy such as wind or solar is that they can only be used when there is sufficient wind flow or sunlight; whereas, water is constantly available. Additionally, at the time of blackout or peak demand, hydroelectricity can be flawlessly fed into the main electric grid system compared to other energy sources.

#5 – Picks up water shortage slack

Hydropower has various other uses apart from electricity generation. The collected water can be easily used for irrigation, for drinking water purpose, or rainwater harvesting. Storing water in such a way also assists in the reduction of vulnerability during droughts and floods. Additionally, impoundment hydropower can create a reservoir for recreational activities such as fishing, swimming, and boating.

 

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Connected Car Technology

Why You Can Expect ‘Clean Energy’ To Become Cheaper In 2018

 The rising need for maintaining environmental sustainability is garnering increased attention in the clean energy sector. Furthermore, the exorbitant rates of extracting fossil fuels are leading to flexible and cheaper sources like renewable energy to become more popular. This changing trend is going to be one of the critical factors that are going to influence shifts in investment decisions, household usage, business models, and employment patterns. What makes clean energy more appealing is the fact that it is far easier to extract and that too at a lower price than non-renewable sources of energy. As we step into 2018, here are a few factors that would influence the prices of clean energy to be inexpensive:IR_Brochure

Drive in the sale of electric cars

Advancements in technology are driving down the vehicle prices and simultaneously increase the sale of electric vehicles. Though several industry analysts have predicted slow growth in this sector, there are chances for sales of electric cars to rise rapidly due to bulk purchases of these vehicles by several companies. Also, factors such as breakthrough inventions in battery storage technology and increase in auto industry’s capital expenditure are also expected to facilitate the growing sale of electric vehicles.

electric vehicleDeclining popularity of coal

The demand for coal as an energy source has been seeing a declining trend over the past few years. The main reason for this being the rising usage of several affordable, clean energy replacements. This is also going to lead to investments in coal-fired power plants to drop. You can also expect to see cancellations of several proposed power plants and retirements of existing ones in the years to come.

 Wind and solar energy prices will continue to go downhill

The previous year saw a remarkable reduction in the rates of clean energy such as solar and wind. Renewable energy is slowly taking charge of driving electricity markets in different parts of the world. Solar and wind energy has been particularly successful in reaching out to larger sections of people at lower prices; this trend is expected to continue in the following years as well. During the growth period though, clean energy will experience some political and financial setbacks. However, the industry will overcome those obstacles as it becomes a permanent and growing part of the energy landscape.

clean energy Rise in the oil prices

Over the past two years, the oil prices have been on the rise like never before.  The oil and gas industry is slowly moving from massive capital expenditures to strategies that focus on reducing cost, limiting investments, diversification and cash generation. This trend is likely to make clean energy replacements like natural gas in high demand.


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Market Intelligence

Why is Business Intelligence a Hot Topic in the Energy Sector?

Why has energy efficiency suddenly become the new buzz word in the energy sector you wonder? The demand for energy is increasing at an exponential rate with each passing day, raising severe concerns. Therefore, energy efficiency is the need of the hour in the energy sector to avoid any shortage in supply. Energy efficiency refers, in a nutshell, to providing the same service by using lesser energy. How can this be achieved, you ask? We can take a step towards energy efficiency by the better utilization of electronic items, more usage of solar and renewable power resources, using less energy-guzzling devices, etc.IR_Brochure

Business intelligence (BI) and the energy sector might sound poles apart, but believe us when we say that BI can work wonders in this industry. It can help in collecting, collating, measuring, and analyzing data to offer actionable insights. The players in the energy sector can utilize these insights to make the right decisions. A smart BI solution must assist players in the energy sector in making effective decisions in the following business areas:

  • Gain historical data on energy consumption that would help to monitor and track the energy usage over time and make appropriate measures for energy consumption
  • Help predict the risk associated with energy trading
  • BI solutions must help analyze energy generation and power outages and also assist in solving the issues in real-time
  • Companies must be able to devise BI for customer services intelligence to monitor and streamline service center and call center operations

Here are a few benefits that energy sector companies can gain by adopting business intelligence solutions:

Better information quality –  Poor information or data about past or current activities can lead to improper decision making. BI solutions help businesses achieve improved information quality with accurate data, making decision making fair and authentic.

Efficient MDM – BI helps to maintain updated records of the company’s database. Master Data Management (MDM) provides valuable data about the company’s key business entities such as customers, vendors, products, etc. Energy sector companies rely heavily on this data for critical decision making.

Promotes data governance – Data governance is responsible for determining information quality, setting standards, and ensuring that the information quality is achieved. An effective BI solution ensures that these processes are carried out in an orderly fashion.

 


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Challenges in Implementing Smart Grid and the Role of Data Analytics

The power production capabilities across the world have continuously been on the rise. Even with such an increase in energy production, many countries are facing energy deficit issues. In some countries due to limited supply, the energy prices have skyrocketed. Power authorities are placing their bet on new smart grid technologies to solve the existing problems in the power industry. Data analytics and automation technologies have enabled power companies to implement an efficient smart grid infrastructure. Smart grid provides benefits such as quick electricity restoration after power disturbance, reduced peak-time demand, integration of large-scale renewable energy systems, andIR_Brochure reduced operations and management costs. However, implementing smart grid poses its own set of challenges. Here are some of the challenges faced by the energy industry companies while implementing smart grid systems:

High operating cost

As per the recent Reuters report, implementing smart grid system in the US National power grid will cost up to $476 billion over the next 20 years. The necessity of a large communication and distribution network escalates the capital and hardware costs significantly. Apart from such infrastructural costs, energy companies will also have to invest heavily in smart grid R&D to assess the evolving benefits and costs.

Transition from legacy systems

Data management will pose a big challenge in the implementation of a smart grid. It accounts for all aspects of collecting, analyzing, storing, and providing data to users and applications. Additionally, it also includes data transition from old legacy systems. This in particular is a big challenge as old legacy system usually cannot be retrofitted with new technologies, which brings the need for entirely new technological solution. Companies also face issues when the volume of data grows from multiple sources such as vendors, municipalities, power utilities, IPP, and consumers at an unprecedented rate.

Complexity of smart grid

Smart grid is a complex machine that takes in input from multiple sources of data to efficiently distribute energy at a speed of light. The complexity arises as a result of multiple data sources, which will complicate the power distribution process. The smart grid has to take into account user behavior, human responses, as well as intelligent and automated responses, gathered from the analysis of massive amounts of data. On top of that, the power companies and government will have to take decisions based on financial constraints and environmental requirements.

Cybersecurity and data privacy

Another challenge faced by the energy industry during implementation is the prevention of damage to, exploitation of, unauthorized use of, and restoration of electronic information and communication systems. Companies are facing issues to ensure confidentiality, availability, and integrity of customer and operational data. Since the smart grid is a widely interconnected system, privacy is of significant concern for the power companies. The problem arises when assigning multiple levels of access to information for various stakeholders.

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Market Opportunity for a Leading Renewable Energy Provider Helps Improve Business Efficiency

According to recent statistics,  global energy investment in 2016 accounted for 2.2% of the global GDP.

The global energy industry is witnessing a transformation towards a service-driven economy, owing to the technological improvements and environmental concerns. At the fundamental level, population and energy efficiency improvements are influencing the organizations to shift toward renewable sources of energy. With the recent shift towards a service-driven economy, leading organizations are insisting on supplying energy with greater productivity and energy efficiency. Although the market for renewable energy is witnessing promising growth, several factors are hampering the overall growth of the renewable energy industry. These factors include:

  • The cost of production: Since countries across the globe rely on fossil fuels for their daily energy consumption, organizations are shifting toward alternate renewable sources of energy. With the raw materials being free and infinite, the cost of the equipment and materials are generally high as compared to non-renewable sources. Moreover, the advances in the renewable sources require a significant amount of initial capital investments.
  • Storage costs: If countries across the globe are relying on renewable energy, then storage becomes a major concern. Also, to bridge the growing demand for renewable energy, efficient storage facilities should be in place. The maintenance of such storage spaces is time-consuming and requires a lot of initial capital investment.
  • Stringent government regulations: To promote the use of renewable sources of energy, organizations are combining a series of major laws and regulations to control energy prices further, reduce competition, and drastically narrow down the imports. Also, these interventions in the tax preferences and subsidies may further affect the growth of the energy space.

To combat such factors and shift toward a more renewable space, organizations are leveraging market opportunity assessments. A well-defined market opportunity assessment provides a better understanding of the overall market scenario by categorizing the market into products and services. Moreover, with prominent organizations shifting toward a more consumer-driven economy, market opportunity provides assistance to the companies by maintaining a consistent awareness of the challenges and the barriers to entry.

The Business Challenge

  • The Client: Renewable energy provider
  • Area of Engagement: Market opportunity

A leading client in the renewable energy space wanted to identify the potential barriers to enter niche market areas and understand the market sizing and growth projections. With the help of the market opportunity assessment, the client wanted to profile the prominent competitors and build an accurate go-to-market strategy and business plans. The primary concern for the client was to provide market size estimates and identify the market requirements and the barriers to entry. Moreover, the client wanted to identify the demand-supply scenario for the services and tailor resources accordingly.

IR- market 01

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The Journey

To determine the demand for renewable energy and enhance their offerings, Infiniti’s market opportunity experts carried out extensive research comprising of interviews and discussions with leading stakeholders in the energy space. To understand the competitive scenario, the experts at Infiniti further compiled information from a wide array of secondary sources such as paid industry databases, company presentations, and industry forums.

The Solution and the Business Impact

The market opportunity assessment offered by Infiniti helped the renewable energy provider identify new market opportunities and meet the different needs, requirements, and preferences of the customers. The engagement also assisted the client to gain a competitive edge over other companies and the market sizing and growth projections. The client was able to design a go-to-market strategy by taking into account the data gathered from a SWOT analysis. Through the engagement, the client gained a holistic understanding of the market and was able to improve their offerings.

The Future

With the relentless growth of technologies, the energy sector companies are expected to adopt large-scale IT technologies to improve service efficiency. Furthermore, leading organizations are looking for more lucrative opportunities for doing businesses across niche market segments.


A must-read case study for strategy specialists and decision makers looking to develop an understanding of the renewable energy industry

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What’s Bothering the Energy Industry Across the World?

The energy industry comprises of the petroleum, gas, electrical, coal, nuclear, and renewable energy sectors. In recent times, renewable energy has started taking precedence over non-renewable energy sources such as petroleum and coal. This is because of rising consumer awareness towards global warming and government initiatives to curb pollution. Although both the renewable and non-renewable energy industry is growing at a healthy rate, there are some challenges faced by both these sectors.IR_Brochure

Challenges Faced by the Energy Industry

Meeting Decarbonization Targets

In the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, 200 countries committed to COP21, which has identified an ambitious set of goals. In a bid to limit the global warming activities across the world, countries are putting up legislations to curb emissions and provide incentives to businesses with lower or no carbon emission. Numerous reports list that 41% of the world’s total CO2 emissions are caused by the energy industry companies, resulting in initiatives to decarbonize energy supply with renewable energy resources. To show its commitment to COP21, countries such as UAE have vowed to reduce its fossil fuel subsidies and have invested US$163 billion in renewable energy projects. Also, nations and companies having positive carbon balance can sell its carbon credit to companies with higher emissions. Such incentives discourage companies to reduce its carbon footprint and the energy industry players to opt for such alternatives.

Ease of Access and Affordability

Energy access has been largely limited to only the developed and urbanized parts of the world. The accessibility problem is still posing as a significant challenge to the energy industry. The energy prices vary across the globe depending on numerous factors. In multiple regions, the affordability issue seems to be more prominent as it drives the prices of all other consumer goods. For instance, Germany has the highest rate for per kilowatt hour of electricity at 28.18 euros, which is compelling the manufacturing units in the country to outsource production to the low-cost region.

Investment and Returns

The level of investments required for energy generation projects is so significant that it usually has to be backed up by investments from world bank or governments. The typical project cost for energy generation runs over billions of dollars. For instance, in 2005, a conference on renewable energy investment in India had private companies committing around $200 billion in investments into green energy. With such massive investments, the pressure on returns is much higher. The increasing cost of operations and maintenance can reduce the plant availability for power supply to the grid; thereby, diminishing the returns. Additionally, regulatory approvals, construction and technology risks create a significant challenge for the energy industry in delivering energy projects on time, within the stipulated cost and quality targets.

 

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All You Need to Know About Energy Storage: FAQs

How is energy storage helpful?

Energy storage is all about improving the way we generate, consume, and deliver energy. The utility of energy storage is more or less similar to saving money – they can prove helpful in meeting contingencies in the future. That is not all; storage systems ensure that they strike a balance between demand and supply, which helps to eliminate problems pertaining to energy shortage to a large extent. They also help in emergency situations like accidents, power outages, equipment failures, etc.

What are the uses of energy storage on a grid scale?

Energy storage systems are highly beneficial on a grid or an industrial scale. How, you wonder? They help shift energy consumption into the future so that the existing generating capacity is used efficiently. Secondly, they ensure that while shifting from one power generation source to another, there is no break in service. Finally, they facilitate the control and management of voltage and frequency to ensure that the sensitive equipment is not damaged in case of fluctuations.

Can energy storage systems work with all fuel sources?

Energy storage systems are fuel neutral, i.e., whether electricity is generated from oil, gas, solar, nuclear, or geothermal, etc., storage systems ensure that the excess energy from electricity is captured at a higher efficiency so that it can be utilized in the case of shortages or emergencies.

Why is energy storage necessary?

Storage of energy is highly essential to overcome the following challenges and contingencies:

Overcoming power outages: Efficient storage systems ensure that power is readily available in the case of any unforeseen events in the future, especially due to power outages. It helps prevent hindrances in the smooth functioning of equipment.

Pocket-friendly for customers: Storage of energy prevents providers from enforcing premium pricing during peak levels of demand. Storage helps avoid the shortage of energy, ensuring that customers are not charged unnecessarily.

Supports use of renewable energyStorage systems support generation and storage of energy through renewable sources, which in turn regulates and reduces emissions. They also help to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels; thus, helping to take a step towards environmental protection.


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  1. Opportunity to Leapfrog into Energy Transition: Is China on the Right Track?
  2. The “Next Gen” Renewable Energy Innovations and their Pioneers
  3. 4 Renewable Energy Sources Paving a Green Pathway for Commercial Sustainability
Market Intelligence

What are the New Energy Storage Trends for the Cold Chain?

Most of us who keep tabs on our power bills are well aware of how refrigeration and air-conditioning can burn a hole in our pockets if not used judiciously. So, what about the case of large cold chain warehouses that bank on such facilities around the clock? How do they manage to survive this costly affair and simultaneously ensure that they avoid spoilage of perishable materials? All hail technology, now cold chain warehouse companies can cut down on refrigeration and temperature controlling costs and gain improved energy storage and efficiency through thermal energy management.

Thermal energy storage solutions help companies reduce energy consumption, decrease carbon footprint, and at the same time save money. Buckle up as we take you through a few popular energy storage trends that are budding in the cold chain sector:IR_Brochure

Thermal Energy Storage Market is Booming

As per Technavio’s Report on thermal energy storage, the global thermal energy storage market is expected to grow significantly and post a CAGR of over 18 percent over the next couple of years. One of the main reasons for this growth is the rising demand for cost-effective  storage systems. Thermal energy storage is also gaining popularity due to its low carbon emission, low power consumption, and improved efficiency displayed by them in energy storage.

Standardizing System Components

Favorable government policies, innovative technology, and declining component costs have given birth to a dynamic market for energy storage. To reap the benefits of the same, energy sector players are expected to standardize the way system components are built, their performance, and the manner in which they communicate with other grids. How will standardization benefit the energy sector? It will result in the faster integration of energy storage solutions and lower the project costs.

Implementation of Full Scale Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

FSMA establishes stringent regulatory and preventive standards for producers and processors to adhere to. They have also established strict penalties for players who fail to comply to these standards. This measure is getting the players in the cold chain to ensure that their standards match the ones set by FSMA.

Transport Rules are Getting Stricter

The US Food and Drug Administration has formulated a law to ensure that the carriers keep a check if appropriate temperatures of storage are maintained during the entire duration of the transportation of the products. The law also states that the carrier must provide adequate documentation to the receiver that the products that have been transported in a controlled environment.

 

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