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Current± Predicts: The energy transition in 2020, part five

Image: Kiwi Power.

Image: Kiwi Power.

Current±’s series of predictions for 2020 continues with part five, featuring insight from Wärtsilä’s Jan Andersson and Low Carbon COO Juan Martin Alfonso.

Jan Andersson, senior analyst for market development, Wärtsilä

Energy storage maturation

We would expect the energy storage industry to continue to mature in 2020. The fast frequency response market has already become saturated with battery assets, so it’s excellent news that the National Grid ESO is next year launching a new faster-acting frequency response mechanism to try and better meet evolving needs.

New blackout safeguards

The blackout back in August was Britain’s biggest for a decade and will have wide-reaching implications for the energy sector. National Grid are accelerating plans for new safeguards to avoid further blackouts, and we feel that energy storage could have a key role to play within that.

New momentum for hydrogen

There is a growing momentum for hydrogen-based fuels in the UK, demonstrated by the support from all major political parties in the technology as part of their manifestos. Post-election, those pledges need to now be turned into action, as the next parliamentary term could be crucial in determining the importance of hydrogen within the UK economy.

Juan Martin Alfonso, COO and CFO, Low Carbon

Achievement of UK large-scale subsidy-free solar era

As the UK continues to expand its solar energy capacity, all signs point to the UK moving into post-subsidy (or subsidy-free) utility-scale build-out in 2020, in particular from Q3 onwards.

Rise of the smart prosumer

The Smart Export Guarantee means that from January 2020 energy suppliers will have to pay people for what they export to the grid. Done properly and under the right policy framework, a myriad of electricity consumers will be able to generate and consume solar power, including tenants and industrial consumers.

Community ownership for operational renewables will become a real option at scale

The market is exhibiting clear potential to enable local communities to take ownership of solar assets so they can benefit for the long term - meeting the dual ambition of generating local green energy and a new income stream for the benefit of community projects.

Increased corporate sourcing of renewables

The global corporate sourcing market will continue to be extremely active. The renewable energy procurement movement was started by organisations that were committed to reducing their environmental footprint and this is only set to continue. Expect big businesses to intensify the banging of the drum for clean energy as 2020 presents itself as a crucial year for climate action.

Asset management 2.0: more transparency, more digitalisation

The asset management industry is transitioning to an asset-centric information-based management approach and adopting quality systems and digital tools will be key to staying competitive. Asset managers are increasingly expected to continuously increase the return on investment by increasing revenues and reducing costs. Quality systems such as the ISO 9000 and 55001 standards and adherence to Best Practice guidelines will continue to drive quality and consistency necessary for successful growth.

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