Investing in the future

Investing in the future

The journey towards a 100% renewable energy future is gaining momentum. It is time to swing into action and leverage the tailwind.

Text: Anja Frada Photo: Katariina Salmi

The energy landscape is going through an unprecedented transformation. Recently, I had the opportunity to listen to a utility customer and an independent power producer, both from the USA, share their stories. A few years ago, they had very limited renewable assets in their portfolio and they had never heard about Wärtsilä. Today, they are on a quest to rapidly convert to renewables and Wärtsilä’s flexible solutions are able to support them on that path.

This mirrors the sweeping change that is under way in the energy sector. While a few years ago, utilities and independent power producers (IPPs) were still investing in conventional coal and gas turbine power plants to power their grids, today they are witnessing the rapid rise of renewables. The reason to invest in renewables is pure economics. Renewable energy today has become more affordable and is emission-free compared with fossil fuels, making the power system sustainable. This has caused many utilities to adopt renewables, gradually turning them into the base load for their power grids. As the energy sector embraces renewables, there are bound to be hiccups along the way. Chief among these are the intermittent nature of renewable power and the struggle of many utilities to make the switch in an informed manner. As utilities invest in renewable assets like wind and solar, they have begun to realise that their current gas turbine and coal assets are not flexible enough to integrate renewables, which can then cause problems in power system reliability.

Through our Smart Energy Vision, Wärtsilä will lead the transition to a 100% renewable energy future. We can help our customers truly understand the opportunities that this energy transition provides. We can help provide them with the flexibility needed to facilitate the integration of intermittent renewable energy – whatever the technology mix (engines, solar, storage, hybrids), in the most cost-efficient way.

As an energy system integrator, Wärtsilä understands the role of different technologies as part of our customers’ power systems. We can help them create an optimal path towards 100% renewable energy systems by designing, building and providing complete solutions across the entire energy generation life cycle.

While turning to renewables is a nice message, it is also a reality and one that will decide the future of energy markets. It is essential that the energy sector invests in flexible generation now so that it can eventually make the full transition to renewables. We are here to help them.

Anja Frada
Vice President Business Development
Finance & Control Energy Solutions, Wärtsilä

 

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