Philippe Delorme on the energy challenge | Schneider Electric
The New Economy interviews Philippe Delorme, Executive Vice President of Schneider Electric, on the energy challengeShow transcript
As developing nations advance further and faster towards full industrialisation, the energy sector faces a significant challenge: how to double its capacity while also meeting the environmental efficiencies demanded by increasingly green prosumers. Philippe Delorme tells The New Economy how smart grid technology can help.
The New Economy: Everyone’s talking about smart grids, what’s driving their development?
Philippe Delorme: I would say the first thing and the most important is really around the energy challenge. By 2030 the electricity demand will double while in the same time we have to be two times more efficient when it comes to CO2 so overall the energy challenge about being four times more efficient through big disruptive approach within the full energy chain. Second point we see consumers that are becoming prosumers. They want to have a choice, they want to be greener they want to be more efficient and they are stretching their energy supplier to be greener and to be more energy efficient. The third point is about volatile demand. In a mature economy more and more issues of peak dealing with peak at 7pm when everybody’s getting back home which is a big challenge and in a new economy a growth erased after the energy capacity just because all the economies are growing, growing and growing. Fourth point energy deregulation and the fact that energy markets are getting more open and in the same time some regulation to push more green and more flexibility within the grid and the last point is about technology. More and more software, more and more communication available at low cost that is opening doors for the smart grid to really pop up and operate.
The New Economy: So what does all this mean in practical terms?
Philippe Delorme: At Schneider we try to be practical and what we see on the smart grid space are four things happening all along the energy chain. First one is renewable sources popping up everywhere. Popping up on distribution network, popping up in buildings, in homes. And disturbing the network. Second point is energy efficiency everywhere which means there is energy efficiency everywhere which means energy visability for users, and means to act. Ways to control energy, which makes consumers more prosumers. Third point is about electric vehicles. It is about energy storage. Just to be straight on electric vehicles; the amount of energy that is used to power two hundred kilometres of an energy vehicle, is the equivalent to twenty four hours to power a full electric house. So that means that today and tomorrow we will have more and more energy storage, the amount of energy that we will be stored in batteries, that will circulate in the city and disrupt the day we deal with energy. All of this is driving the grid to be much more flexible. That means more communication, more software, that will force the grid to be flexible to respond to those demands.
The New Economy: So what are the smart grid solutions for the future?
Philippe Delorme: So you said solutions, with an s, and I buy that. There is no single answer to smart grid. First of all they are differently set up in different countries. Second there is no single player who can give a single answer to this very complex issue. So the key point that we have in mind when finding the answers. First one we need to make sure that demand side users. That the users are absolutely a cornerstone to the transformation of the smart grid. The second point, we need players who can play both on the supply side and the demand side so that you can get the system view about the full ecosystem thats moving. Third point solution will come from collaboration. Solution will come from equal system of company which will be working together to imagine the solution of tomorrow. And the fourth point is about experimentation. Because in this market in the making where there is a lot of things we still don’t know. We need to experiment, learn and scale up. So today what we are doing, we are developing those solutions for energy efficiency everywhere. Easy charge infrastructure, renewable sources of energies, flexible distribution, preparing the field for demand response so that we can use practical answers with our network of partners to the dilemma and to the challenges of the smart grid.
The New Economy: What are the messages about smart grids that we should take into the future?
Philippe Delorme: So smart grid for us is a big challenge and I think for us collectively it is a big challenge and for Schneider electric we see it as an amazing opportunity. An opportunity to innovate, an opportunity to change behaviours, to make the world greener, more efficient. And we see that really going forward probably the key point to succeed will be to put the end users within homes, in buildings, in industry, in data centre and infrastructure, at the centre of this transformation so that we embark people within this change within the full eco system of partners that will come from everywhere.