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Reliable Electricity Grids: The Key to Supporting Environmental Goals

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A view of solar panels and a distant cityscape

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference is taking place in Glasgow through November 12. This event focuses on domestic and international efforts to tackle climate change.

A primary focus is energy and the grid, in particular the distribution grid, which has a key role in driving the required electricity sector changes.

Distribution grids have a multi-faceted role. They support the connection of renewable generation sources, including wind, solar, tidal, biomass, and other solutions. They represent a major part of the infrastructure to support the increased electrification of heat and transportation.

More Local Solutions
Distribution grids will manage many of the challenges as the energy system becomes more decentralized, with local solutions deployed to meet local needs. At the distribution level, communications and digitalization solutions will be used to advance the prosumer energy economy of the future.

For grid utilities to succeed, they must transform the way they operate. The transformation is well underway and will accelerate over time. Central to its success will be grid reliability.

Building Resistance to Threats
As reliance on electricity grids grows, so will the importance of having a grid infrastructure resistant to external threats and able to minimize both short and long service interruptions. This requires regulatory decisions that recognize the importance of reliable and resilient grids. Evidence of this is the range of jurisdictions across the globe that put an increased focus on investment and incentives to drive reliability improvement.

Building grids to meet our future needs is an internationally shared objective. Each country will have its own investment priorities and pace of change, but reliable electricity grids will be key to supporting the environmental goals of all jurisdictions.

Expert

Chris Watts

Publication Date

November 1, 2021