The future of energy and consumer empowerment

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‘Decades of change’ has indeed been a theme of late. Not only did Eurelectric’s Power Summit highlight the need for an electric decade, but Smart Energy International’s latest magazine provided an overview of the most salient changes in energy over the last 25 years and how these changes have shaped our future. We spoke to Jorge González, CEO of global energy solutions company Ormazabal to get his thoughts on the past two decades, as well as what’s to come.

Jorge González believes that over the last 25 years the world has experienced major progress in the energy sector, especially with renewable energy generation becoming more competitive and overtaking traditional power generation.

Said González: “There are many places in the world where green generation costs are lower than transmission charges, so they can even compete with an hypothetic zero-cost in centralised production sites.

“This singularity has driven the ‘energy revolution’ we are living today. It has enabled the goal of carbon neutrality, it has triggered the electric mobility advent and it will also boost the green hydrogen dream.”

Jorge González, Ormazabal CEO

According to González, this development has also forced the full redefinition of the electric energy backbone, which is the electric grid. DSOs are being encouraged to digitize their grids by adding an electronic, software and communication layer to the existing one, which mean the electric grid is no stranger to the phenomenon of the digitization of society.

“But the real revolution of the energy future is connected with energy consumers. They will become prosumers who will actively interact with the electric grid, changing their behaviours and life patterns.

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“In the near future, we will start to see how energy prosumers will become active players by producing and storing their own energy, as well as electrifying most of the energy consumptions, such as mobility or heat. This empowerment of the customer will create an “information” demand about energy origin, cost signals, and so on. All this will lead to a new wave of digitization of the grid, far more of what it is today: with a smart low-voltage grid, further sensorisation and much better communication media between the DSO and the final customer.”

González suggests that all these changes will drive a “green” acceleration of society and will overtake the global decarbonisation objectives.