The renewables trend has an interesting fall out. It is not just changing a decades-old business model of centralized production, but is making traditional infrastructure obsolete. The growth of consumer installations along with the rise of intelligent technology and two-way energy systems are making way for energy clouds. These decentralized Genius Power Systems are rewriting how energy is generated, stored, traded, distributed, consumed and priced.
What genius power systems mean for you
The implications are becoming clear. Traditional systems which have, for decades, transported energy from generator to consumer at fixed prices are in a death spiral. These are being replaced with intelligent, two-way real-time energy and data exchange networks that respond to demand, throwing back options to consumers with flexible products and pricing. Already, we have some lighthouse organizations showing how Genius Power Systems can be created and leveraged. In Australia, for example, Enova Community Energy is focusing on the installation of community owned renewable energy systems. As new sources of energy come on stream and communities become energy-rich, Enova says it will enter into managing supply contracts – in other words, its main business will pivot around identifying and connecting the best sourcing options to the most profitable markets. Some innovators in renewable energy have deployed predictive maintenance platforms, smart meters and integrated SCADA systems that leverage data-rich smart grids. These enable greater reliability, operational efficiencies and cost reductions. There are other projects in the US, Denmark, Germany and China attempting to deploy cutting-edge technologies to create Genius Power Systems that will become global benchmarks.
Boldly ‘power’ your way into the future
The very trends that appeared to spell doom for the industry until a few years ago (such as the growth of renewables, environmental regulations, DREs, etc.) are now becoming rich grounds for innovation to bloom. But for innovation to take root, the industry must modernize its structures and technologies. Perhaps the most important of these is to put in place an IP-based network of devices that make highquality real-time data available for supply-demand and market behavior analytics. Equally important is the decision to securely converge IT and OT into a seamless system that works in collaboration with the partner ecosystem of equipment manufacturers, IoT vendors and connectivity providers. If it appears that the time for baby steps is long past, it is not far from the truth. The industry must take bold strides if it, and its customers, are to benefit from Genius Power Systems that are becoming a reality.