Wider deployment of renewables and distributed generation systems are increasingly the focus of major European utilities as they prepare for the onset of a “new power reality”.
That was the sentiment of DNV GL energy CEO Ditlev Engel at an industry event earlier this month, but one that has been borne out within the financial disclosure of Europe’s energy giants in recent weeks.
Opening European trade association SolarPower Europe’s Solar Power Summit in Brussels earlier this month, Engel said that utilities were now working towards integrating more renewables and decentralised resources as part of their business models.
“We probably see the world with a lot of integration of systems, on technologies, and this is leading into what we describe as the "new power reality", where solar continues to play an important role.
“There are major technologies which need to be pooled into this transition. The interesting thing is, when you look upon what is the potential growth opportunities, there are 30 technologies in solar… all of them are plugging into this smart energy transition that solar is going to be a part of. This is of course why it's extremely exciting,” he said.
Engel listed a range of smart technologies that will prove vital to enhanced integration of renewables in national grids, including the likes of battery storage, demand response and smart grid deployment.
“The question is then what should be done more of, going forward? We think a lot about collaboration, and assuring quality is absolutely vital for the industry… we are not talking about the silos of technologies, but new combinations. Therefore thinking of solar in this light is going to be very important, not just as a standalone technology,” Engel added.
Engel was speaking before both E.On and Innogy revealed in their respective results disclosures last week a refreshed focus on decentralised technologies.
Innogy confirmed plans to ramp up its investment in innovative energy technologies, while E.On said it wanted to become the “pacesetter” in the digitalisation of the energy market while also focusing on storage and smart grid deployment.