Energy technology firm GridBeyond has published its latest research paper outlining key trends for the energy market, to inform negotiators, and global decision-makers in the run-up to COP26.
The study, Powering through disruption – Global energy trends 2022, states that although COVID-19 disrupted the energy market and became the main headline, energy stakeholders did not drop energy sustainability as a key focus and topic of importance.
The study says sustainability will continue to disrupt the energy market in 2022 as stakeholders seek to take leverage renewable energy ahead of conventional energy to decarbonise operations and mitigate climate change.
As utilities seek to enhance systems efficiency and reliability, themes such as artificial intelligence (AI), big data, the internet of things (IoT), and digitalisation will increasingly become important, according to the study.
The electrification of sectors such as heat and transportation will be a hot topic in 2022 with the number of electric vehicles expected to increase. The developments will be guided by regulations enacted in developed economies such as the US, Europe and China, that are aimed at reducing emissions from the sectors.
Gridbeyond states that the deployment of renewable energy, energy storage and grid balancing mechanisms such as demand response will increase.
Emerging technologies such as peer-to-peer energy trading and green technologies such as hydrogen will shape the market in 2022, according to the study. The technology firm expects public funding on grid and energy efficiency to continue to increase.
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However, factors including rising energy prices (especially in Europe, China, and Latin America), carbon reporting requirements, lack of new investments in energy technologies, and low return on investments on existing technologies to be the biggest challenges for stakeholders in the energy landscape in 2022.
Michael Phelan, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Gridbeyond, said: “Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the world and its effects are already being seen. Decarbonising the power sector by ramping up the adoption of renewable energy is essential. But the global shift can only be achieved through a combination of clean energy generation, intelligent energy system balancing, new technologies and power grid interconnectivity. Collaboration and knowledge sharing across sectors, industries and countries will be crucial in supporting economies deliver on their ambitions.
Mark Davis, GridBeyond’s Managing Director UK & Ireland, added: “If I could ask one thing from the COP26 negotiations, it would be for policy-makers to ensure a clear, long-term architecture is in place to encourage investment across the electricity value chain, including renewables and grid interconnection, effective and efficient markets in electricity trade, system balancing and demand response.
“It is imperative for our economy that industries of all kinds remain profitable and competitive. Businesses have a once in a lifetime opportunity to use their energy strategy to recover some lost revenue, and remake themselves into learner and cleaner energy users. But current energy prices are once again putting on the pressure.”
Davis said more investments are required to achieve decarbonisation, decentralisation and the digitalisation of energy networks, vital requirements to be able to achieve the 2050 net-zero goal.
Wayne Muncaster, VP for North America, reiterated that there is a need to ensure the introduction of innovative solutions and increased investments across the entire energy value chain and not on the generation side only.
Gridbeyond’s study is based on surveys conducted with some 150 energy stakeholders and research complied from 30 industry whitepapers.
The research paper draws on GridBeyond’s extensive experience in the energy markets, their own research and industry surveys, to examine the key trends that could come to the forefront of discussions about and developments in the energy sector in 2022 and beyond.
The report is available for download.