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News Trends: Stakeholders Continue To Roll Out New Technologies & Projects For The Power Grid Of The Future

Jessica Hernandez, Analyst
June 7, 2021

Just over a year ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared a global pandemic. At the time, there was a great deal of uncertainty about how COVID-19 would impact the energy industry. More than 12 months later, we witnessed a 20% drop in oil demand, a 5% reduction in electricity consumption, and the largest year-over-year reduction in global CO2 emissions. However, through it all, the energy transition continued to move forward at an accelerated rate.

Using our news commentary feature, we have been tracking key developments in the energy industry over the first year of the global pandemic, covering nearly 650 individual developments across more than 10 of our major topic areas. These innovation-related events range from partnerships and investments to recent R&D and policies. Each news commentary includes information about the companies involved and our take on the development.

The news trends analysis is one of the main factors shaping the Lux Energy Team's outlook for 2021 and beyond. Many of the transformational developments that occurred directly influenced the Energy Program's four key themes – Evolution of Electricity Networks, Decarbonization of Industry, The Business of the Energy Transition, and Future Energy for Mobility – and shaped our 2021 predictions. In the below figure we analyze the activity over the past 12 months within one of our main topics, power grid.

Stakeholders continue to roll out new technologies and projects for the power grid of the future

As we enter the second year of the global pandemic, we take a look back at the "Truly Disruptive" and "Very Important" developments over the past 12 months. In addition, we have selected the most read and discussed innovation-related events.

Distributed Energy Resources (DERs)

 

Energy Trading and Retail


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Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging & Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G)

  • MOBI launches blockchain-based standard for V2G integration. The group released its first technical design specification for V2G, carbon credits, and peer-to-peer (P2P) use cases. Applications enabled by this common standard have the potential to benefit various stakeholders, including electric utilities, charging infrastructure operators, and EV drivers.

  • Kaluza and Bosch trial direct-to-car smart charging. The companies combined the capabilities of their digital platforms and embedded vehicle technologies, connecting directly to EVs to manage their charging process without smart charging hardware. This may open up opportunities for energy retailers to offer smart charging services as part of their electricity tariffs.

  • First bus-to-grid project ready to launch in London. The project intends to transform a North London bus garage into the largest V2G site, providing more than 1 MW to the grid. The project kicked off in 2018, and the consortium expects to start operations in the summer of 2021.

  • Shell complements EV charging business with acquisition of Ubitricity. Through acquisitions, Shell has been opening doors to different electric mobility markets, including residential and commercial charging points, public charging networks, and fast-charging stations.

  • Shell pilots battery-powered ultrafast charging and VPP integration. Shell will use stationary storage to avoid grid connection upgrades, support ultrafast charging events, increase the use of renewable electricity, and provide grid services. Shell put together a winning strategy to support the significant expansion of its electric mobility business in the next few years.

 

POWER GRID MANAGEMENT

 

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RENEWABLES INTEGRATION



#LuxTake

Over the past year, there have been a significant number of projects across all of the above categories, focusing on tapping into energy flexibility, increasing grid resiliency, and supporting more renewables integration. In the next year, project development will not slow down, especially now that there's more proof that renewables can take over a larger portion of the energy demand and with countries and companies committing to decarbonization.

In addition, one key player that has been accelerating its power business in recent year is Shell, which appears in most categories above. Like other oil and gas giants, Shell intends to become a whole energy company, and its power business is a big part of this expansion. Shell is making strides with strategic investments and acquisitions in electric mobility and power grid technology developers. The electrification trend and the need for resiliency will continue pushing for technology innovations to support the power grid of today and the future.

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