Digitisation key to grid stability - WEMO report
Leveraging digitisation, AI and automation to enable greater accuracy of demand forecasting and demand-side management is essential to ensure grid stability, according to the World Energy Markets Observatory (WEMO) report published today.
The 22nd WEMO annual edition from Capgemini, created in partnership with De Pardieu Brocas Maffei, Vaasa ETT and Enerdata, also notes increased digitization of grids - while changing tariffs calculation to remunerate digtal investments - can ensure safe grid management, with a higher share of intermittent renewable sources.
During the first lockdown, electricity consumption fell by 15-25 percent and the share of renewables in certain electricity grids, in Europe in particular, exceeded 50 percent, posing grid stability problems.
"The grid system needs to become more flexible and its regulation has to change in order to accommodate energy transition to low-carbon electricity," the report states.
Philippe Vié, Global Head of the Energy and Utilities sector at Capgemini, said: "Numerous digital tools and assets are mature and available to improve predictability, reliability, grid stability and finally security of supply, accelerating energy transition."
Data transparency is cited as a key flexibility enabler. "DSOs should continue developing data exchange systems and share relevant data with all stakeholders while ensuring their protection and preventing security breaches," it states.
With the growing renewables market and technological progress, costs declined by more than 10 percent (wind and solar) in 2019, with consistently lower costs being recorded month after month, the report adds.
The combination of improved wind turbine technologies, deployment of higher hub heights, and longer blades with larger swept areas together, along with digitsation and better generation forecasting software, leads to increased capacity factors for a given wind resource, the report notes. Other key findings:
- For onshore wind plants, the global weighted average capacity factor should increase from 34 percent in 2018 to more than 40 percent in 2030.
- Batteries for electric vehicles and stationary storage costs decreased again by 19 percent in 2019 (for Li Ion batteries), and 115 mega-factories’ projects have been recorded, of which 88 are in China.
- Productivity gains are expected from new working methods arising from the crisis, combined with accelerated digitisation and reduction of office space and travel expenses.
But Colette Lewiner, Energy and Utilities senior advisor at Capgemini, warned that the 7-8 percent predicted drop in emissions for 2020 are likely to be temporary.
"It would take a similar restriction, every year for the next 10 years, to get on the right environmental trajectory, which is of course unviable. Profound changes are needed to reach climate change objectives.”
Airswift Competentia merger spurs global digital recruitment
Airswift and recruiting and workforce management specialist Competentia have merged to form one of the world’s foremost workforce solutions providers serving the energy, process, infrastructure, mining and technology industries.
The combined entity, which retains the Airswift name, will offer clients enhanced global access, particularly in the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and Africa. Competentia recently opened an office in Texas, complementing Calgary, Anchorage and Houston in the region.
Airswift chief executive, Janette Marx, will be CEO of the merged entity and Competentia Group CEO, Jayden Wallis, will play a key role on the executive team as Chief Marketing Officer and SVP of ASPAC. Kyle McClure will become CFO of the combined company.
Marx said there had been a long been mutual admiration between both companies, which share a mutual ambition to become the workforce solutions provider of choice for clients, candidates and contractors in the energy and technology industries.
“In a rapidly digitizing, post-pandemic environment, companies across the world’s technical sectors must quickly respond to new ways of working to achieve sustainable, long-term growth," she said. "We believe that our combined size and experience, and our firm focus on the energy transition, perfectly positions us to help clients respond to the complex workforce challenges of the future. Through digital and people-based solutions, we will ultimately shape the technical sectors of tomorrow.”
As a result of the merger, mid-market and blue-chip companies alike gain access to an even broader range of truly integrated services. Talent acquisition, professional search, international contractor management, global employment outsourcing, consultancy and payroll management are just a few of the workforce solutions on offer.
Wallis added: “We see this as an opportunity to create the world’s most forward-thinking workforce solutions provider.
“We also believe we have a key, supporting role to play in enabling the energy transition, not only in the industries we serve, but through responsible business operations, business models, investment in technology and innovation, and collaboration with our peers. Our combined strength and shared ambition mean we’re even better placed to deliver on that.”
Ian Langley, Airswift’s Chairman, said: “It was obvious from our opening call that a potential merger had great merit. Not only did our combination make perfect commercial sense, but we found that our organizations had similar cultures and aspirations, and we quickly discovered a unique alignment.”
Airswift and Competentia’s private equity backers, Wellspring Capital and Reiten & Company respectively, are retaining their stakes in the merged entity and will continue to be actively involved with the business. Airswift has also issued a bond on the Norwegian bond market to ensure maximum flexibility and access to alternative funding in the future.
Matthew Harrison, Managing Partner at Wellspring Capital, said: “Airswift and Competentia share the same foundational values and are guided by both delivering excellence to their clients and creating a great employee experience. Together they can do this even better, and I look forward to seeing the new merged company do great things.”
Bård Ingerø, Managing Partner at Reiten & Co concludes: “These are two companies with such similar cultures and successful track records, which we believe will fit together seamlessly to offer the market the greatest possible breadth, depth and quality of services, wherever clients may operate.”
Patrick Tame, CEO of Beringer Tame, says only agile and digitally savvy businesses have survived the storm from the pandemic, and will continue to do.
“The battle to keep ahead in an environment of rapid technological, market and consumer behaviour changes has caused businesses to rush to hire digital talent that has enabled them to shift the way they operate," he writes.
"When there are skill shortages in a particular sector - such as the digital market - hiring the best, before the competition, can make a real difference when it comes down to overall business success. So the businesses that are privy to a team of consultants who boast priceless depth of industry knowledge and mastery are guaranteed to have a competitive edge."