The Future of Power and Electrification
Hot topics effecting the Future of the Power industry
The future of the power sector is unclear, but one thing is certain, the industry needs to significantly change in order to meet the emerging opportunities and threats and the disruptions that are reshaping the power sector. For example, we are seeing the migration to decentralised power solutions that address energy demand closer to the locations where energy is needed. There has also been a significant upturn in renewable energy with consumers changing attitudes; driving change for more clean and sustainable solutions. And then there is the Climate Change Agenda and the drive to reduce carbon footprints, which become topical in relation to the UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) COP 26, now postponed over to 2021, to be held in the UK.
In November 2019, BritCham’s Energy & Utilities Business Committee held a panel session moderated by Allard Nooy, CEO InfraCo Asia, and tackled 4 of the key hot topics effecting the future of the power industry, including:
• The future of storage
• Are hydrogen fuel cells the answer?
• The role of integrated battery storage solutions
• Interconnectivity of global power supplies – SunCable case study
Panellists and speakers included (L-R) James Prothero, Sector Leader, Water, South East Asia, Mott Macdonald; Dr Fraser Thompson, Director and Economic Advisor, SunCable; Mark Sun, Head of Marketing – Asia Pacific Precious Metals & Business Development, Anglo American; Rosa Milano, Sr. Sales Manager, GE Renewable Hybrids – Energy Storage APAC; Mark Leslie, Managing Director, Green Investment Group of Macquarie Capital; Allard Nooy, CEO, InfraCo Asia Development Pte Ltd; Jean-Philippe Buisson, Senior Vice President Asia, EDF International Division; Camilla Fenning, Head of South East Asia Climate & Energy Network, British High Commission; Tim Rockell, Chairman of the Energy & Utilities Business Committee. (picture courtesy of InfraCo Asia)
South East Asia is a region with burgeoning middle classes, while 65 million people live day-to-day without electric grid access. The audience heard that everything now will evolve around ‘smarts’ - distribution, carbon and other greenhouse gas reduction, energy efficiency and the adoption of smart grids and meters. Many options exist in the future of power and keeping the regions options open is key.
Are hydrogen fuel cells the answer?
Mark Sun, highlighted the work Anglo American had carried out to decarbonise its own operations. Investments have been made in the use of hydrogen as part of the energy mix, including at mine sites in rural South Africa. Transportation of hydrogen is an issue; investment into liquid organic hydrogen carriers has been made. The company is working on efficiency in its mining trucks and the use of fuel cells in underground mines. Platinum is a catalyst in fuel cells, an element sitting in Anglo’s portfolio.