Energy Efficiency Trends of 2020

February 05, 2020

Energy efficiency improvements have an enormous impact on greenhouse gas emissions reduction and economic growth. The movement towards 'green energy alternatives' is evident all over the world. The increased number of solar and wind power generation plants are only the tip of the iceberg. Digitization has not only increased the efficiency of processes but also accelerated the growth of these novel options.

New developments in the energy and natural resources industries have compelled electricity distributors to open the doors to many energy-efficient trends. What's fascinating is that these new trends in the utility environment are changing the unidirectional consumer grid to a bidirectional one, creating a new era of a prosumer (producer - consumer). In this new reality, savvy consumers play an active role in the new smart grid, either by adding to the generation of energy or participating in demand response programs to help stabilize the grid and improve the quality and resiliency of the grid.

Less Energy

The least expensive Kilowatt is the one that is never produced. That is the reason why utility companies promote energy efficiency programs and clean energy usage, which ultimately translates into a lower carbon footprint. The key element here is grid flexibility because it allows energy companies to balance supply and demand in a dynamic market. At the grid's edge lies the need for accurate metering of the electric energy As more individuals and businesses focus on efficiency, using their own resources, energy storage and the possibility of monetizing these resources, the need for approved meters to trade energy on real-time will become more prevalent.

Grid Parity

Solar power has already reached grid parity in at least 30 countries. It is expected to continue rising to soon reach parity across the world. This trend is a result of technological advances, as photovoltaic systems can now be implemented more efficiently with an affordable cost for small residential applications. Consumers are now looking for sustainable energy solutions, and it’s only a matter of time until solar power generation will become a reality in every home. Then whether for self- consumption or for export there will be a meter for every one of these systems and with it, the need for accessing the meter information.

Digitization of Energy Supply Chains

Emerging technology continues to support and drive improvements in every step of the production and distribution of renewable energy. The employment of AI technology will continue to positively disrupt the supply chain with data. From smart submetering technology at the point of consumption to the suppliers’ equipment, utilities will make more informed and accurate decisions and improve operations. Consumers will be more engaged in saving energy, aggregating loads to participate in demand response programs or simply using the energy they have stored, once data shows them how and when to act.

Use of Submetering Systems

From positively affecting consumers’ attitudes on energy consumption to making properties green (more energy efficient), submetering systems are valuable tools. They sit at the grid's edge and will be used for measuring actual energy consumption or production in real-time. Submeters will provide detailed energy data that when collecting can be aggregated, analyzed and bench-marked to report on the efficiency of per unit usage. By installing a submetering system, tenants, building owners, building operators, and building managers will take control over their energy consumption and use data to improve energy and cost efficiencies.

Electric Vehicles

All markets are facing the same challenge - to convince vehicle owners to switch to clean, sustainable, and quiet electric mobility. The share of electric cars is fast increasing as the global sales of EV cars has grown over the last 10 years. As technology and support for EV cars grow, people will give electric cars a chance. Many countries are offering state and federal level electric-car tax credits and other incentives to attract drivers to take advantage of reduced emissions and fuel savings. Other jurisdictions are supporting the deployment of public car chargers to accelerate adoption. New investments are being made to expand the production of batteries and charging hardware, to boost demand. While car manufacturers invest in research and development, authorities and private companies are working on solutions for charging infrastructure to support the growth of this sector.

The increased accessibility of technology and digitization contribute to a sustainable future, one with a reduced carbon footprint. Information from accurate meters will become essential for knowing and understanding the flow of energy at a granular level to drive conservation and efficiency efforts.

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