Article in the Norwegian newspaper Shifter, (October 28, 2022)
National energy challenges require local grid solutions, and now it is urgent to put national support schemes in place, write Tommy Bønsnæs and Fredrik Andersson in TGN Energy.
The green shift and the electrification of society place great demands on increased power production in a power grid where capacity is already exhausted. Local solar and wind projects in combination with battery storage can become a central and necessary part of the solution for business.
Challenging energy mix
In all countries, politicians, regulatory authorities, and business are faced with the formidable task of renewing and modernizing the production, storage, and use of energy at the same time as coal, oil, gas, and nuclear power are being phased out. If we are to be able to meet the goals in the Paris Agreement, and the UN’s expectations for slowing down global warming, enormous amounts of solar and wind projects must be developed in the coming years. This presents challenges for the overall energy mix.
The batteries are coming
The stability of power grids around the world is entirely dependent on large, adjustable generators to produce electricity and then transport it to where and when it is needed. Energy from sun and wind is basically not possible to regulate, and since the amount of sun and wind that is available varies right down to the hour, the energy production, and thus the entire power grid, will become more unstable the more this unpredictable energy enters the energy mix. This is where local battery storage comes in as a key factor. Such energy storage solutions will greatly contribute to stabilizing the grid and improve business predictability.
“Schemes similar to those for private households must also be in place for business, with support for the development of, for example, solar cell systems and battery storage capacity”, write the TGN Energy founders in this post. Photo: Illustration
The investment budgets that Norwegian companies could use to build such solutions themselves are now quickly disappearing due to the high electricity prices. That is why it is urgent to address this is the ongoing political discussions. Arrangements similar to those for private households must also be in place for business, with support for the development of solar cell systems and battery storage capacity.
In addition, companies that build large scale projects should receive increased governmental support, so that private initiatives are rewarded for building renewable energy projects that benefit the whole of society.
Power rationing next?
In Sweden, power rationing is already a hot topic. This means that companies may experience reduced opening hours, or that power-intensive industries and factories must cut back on the number of days they are in production. This could soon be on the agenda elsewhere as well if action is not taken to reduce the pressure on the power grid.
We must come up with solutions that enable local businesses that produce renewable energy from solar or other sources, to connect with known power storage technology such as batteries. This is called microgrid technology and is a central part of the green shift and the future of our energy market.
The solutions are already here
Business interest in sustainable microgrid solutions is now increasing, and the further away from urban areas, the higher the interest. For industry and property developers in areas with unstable power grids, these solutions are particularly welcome to ensure a stable power supply to local cornerstone businesses.
The fact that these companies also can make money from trading their stored power, like private consumers already are doing, helps to reduce the burden of extreme electricity prices. Without power there is no production, and without production there is no value creation.
Immediate measures are needed, and there are many of us who are ready with solutions that we know will benefit both business and society.