Last year’s COP26 conference saw renewed commitment to reducing carbon emissions. From ambitious plans to phase out coal to the announcement of new net zero timelines from India and others, the message is clear: it’s ready, set, go for renewables.
For operators, that means replacing (mostly) coal-powered turbines with a network of distributed generation (DG) sources without losing overall system strength and stability.
That’s no small ask. And operators are basically doing it blindfolded.
Limited visibility into the effect of grid edge DG, and no means to measure inertia in real time, meant that, at best, operators could only model the impact of integrating renewables based on some simplified assumptions.
Given that those models have been found to be up to 30% off the true value, it’s understandable that many operators have opted for curtailing renewables rather than risking downtime.
But with time running out, it’s not a sustainable solution.
What’s needed is tangible technology that empowers operators to see inertia clearly, in real time. And that’s exactly what Reactive Technologies offers.
A world first that puts the world first
Reactive Technologies is not only the first but also the only company able to measure the stability of a power system directly and in real-time.
Together with National Grid ESO UK, the team recently launched the world’s largest continuously operating grid-scale ultracapacitor in the UK’s Teesside clean energy hub.
The ultracapacitor operates in a similar way to sonar, sending pulses through the grid and monitoring them to measure power system stability.
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Thanks to Reactive’s GridMetrix technology, that means operators will be able to monitor inertia with unprecedented accuracy, opening the door to bring more renewables onto the grid by reducing the risk of relying exclusively on models.
More renewable capacity takes us all another step closer to net zero.
And with recent Accenture research showing that just 9% of large European companies committed to reaching net zero are on track to do so, it’s the type of tangible, timely innovation that operators across the world desperately need.
The time is now
Despite the urgency and scale of the change needed, the increasing numbers of DG, Electric Vehicles and active consumers add new complexity to the entire energy system.
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However, with the added visibility of solutions like those from Reactive Technologies, it’s possible to see opportunities clearly, despite the complexity caused by the energy transition. In fact, there is clear value at the intersection of the traditional industry segments – across generation, the grid itself, and on the demand side.
To grasp it, utilities will be dared to embrace new technologies like Grid Sonar and use them as a beacon to attract a new type of talent; to build on their momentum and ride the tide of change.
It is those who combine talent and technology that will ultimately attract investment and position themselves to benefit from changing regulations and market conditions; and ultimately, to take charge of the energy transition and empower other industries to achieve their net zero goals.