Aiming for Carbon Neutral by 2050; Building the Rocket Ship for the New "Moon Shot"
Decarbonization is a hot topic and can be considered the new “moon shot” of the 21st century. In a recently contributed article to Power Engineering magazine, power industry professionals Leslie Ponder and Kevin Cornish explore the future of decarbonization, and what it will take to get us to a future of net-zero carbon emissions or carbon-free energy goals in a rapidly decentralizing marketplace.
“There’s no set path to decarbonization, and no single rocket ship that will get us there,” Ponder and Cornish state in the article. “Although it’s a common goal, the players – utilities, governments, corporations and other entities – are at different starting points, with different drivers, timelines, and levels of complexity.”
No matter where the players stand, building the best rocket ship will be critical to this mission. Thankfully utilities have more options than ever before – large-scale solar and wind, battery storage and associated technologies, natural gas, hydrogen power and even next-generational nuclear energy – to move them closer to their goals.
To fully achieve liftoff, data management will become increasingly important, decision making will need to move to the grid edge, and utilities will need to improve visibility into distribution and transmission systems even as they advocate for regulation modernization.
Lastly, utilities will need to learn to thrive in this new energy landscape – “the moon.” To get there, expect to see business models and customer requirements change, partnerships with regulators become more collaborative, and the introduction of new regulatory models and rate structures that better address the market’s changing needs.
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