Schneider Electric Energy Report

How do energy companies adapt to changing conditions in the energy sector?

The 6th Energy Forum has been opened by a presentation of Schneider Electric’s report delivered by Jaroslaw Zlabek, President of the Board of Directors of Schneider Electric Poland. Energy related issues are perceived as the greatest challenges for civilization. Growing prices, climate changes or controversies over access and control of resources create the need for a new, extensive discussion about the contemporary challenges for the energy sector.  Changes in approach to management of energy are forced also by development of technology, economic conditions and political decisions. So called energy dilemma, which is posed by the need of producing great amounts of energy with concurrent maintenance of appropriate level of environment protection, can be solved only in one way  -  saving energy by implementing systems like SmartGrid – according to the report. According to the authors, such intelligent electric energy systems require participation of many entities, whose joint and coordinated efforts can prevent future energy crises.

6th Energy Forum. Discussion Panel – “Smart Grid – Innovations for Prosperity”. From the left: Anibal T. De Almeida, Director, ISR – The Institute of Systems and Robotics; University of Coimbra, Portugal, Miroslaw Bielinski, CEO, Grupa ENERGA, Poland, Anders Larsen, Assistant Professor, Roskilde University, Denmark, Bartosz Wojszczyk, GE Energy – Global Director, Smart Grid Solutions, GE Energy, USA, Jaroslav Zlabek, President, Schneider Electric Poland, Tomasz Wolanowski, Power Products and Power Systems Division Commercial Director, ABB, Poland

 Bartosz Woszczyk – Director for development of Smart Grid technology, GE Energy, judged that discussion focused too much on technologies, although they were not the biggest problem. According to Woszczyk, it is necessary to introduce system solutions from the producer’s level via transmission grids, up to the recipient of energy. In his opinion, attention should be directed to the financial risk of investment: – When investment in innovative technology can be replaced in three years by a more modern solution, it has no chance to pay off – emphasized Woszczyk. According to him, a serious problem is also how innovations are received by clients. – I know many innovative solutions, which have not been accepted. That is why it is so important to educate and present specific added value – he emphasized. The director of GE Energy for Smart Grid technology development pointed also to the issue of the small scale of the majority of innovative projects.

Miroslaw Bielinski, President of the Board of ENERGA Group expressed his opinion that Smart Gird is a combination of power engineering and teleinformatics. As he reminded, in 2050 the demand for energy in the peak time will be lower by 25 percent thanks to Smart Grid. According to President of ENERGA, the environmental policy of the EU is considered to be restrictive, but there is not return from it today. Bielinski emphasized that the issues related to energy obtained from unstable renewable sources, must be connected with intelligent energy networks. – This technology is expensive, and the main burden will fall on companies dealing with production and transmission of energy. According to Bielinski, involvement of European institutions is expected to make development of intelligent network more difficult, in view of excessive regulations prepared by European administration.

 Anders Larsen, Professor of University in Roskilde, defined Smart Grid as a digital network, which collects, processes and sends information about recipients of energy in order to increase energy efficiency. Professor Larsen stressed that the traditional energy system from the 80′s, confined to the triangle producer-transfer-recipient, has already become outdated in Denmark. The Professor emphasized that it would be possible to achieve the energy balance in the macro scale also thanks to Smart Grid. – Denmark has a developed cross-border transmission infrastructure. Energy, for example, has already been transferred from Denmark to Norway – said Professor Larsen.  In his view, transition to intelligent networks requires regulation on the state level.

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