There are different approaches. One solution to boost resilience, Facchin says, is to invest in interconnecting grids, which can link separate power systems to create a more flexible and stable energy supply. These interconnected grids can also better utilize renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, that can be exchanged at scale across climatic zones and time zones.
Further development of energy storage is also crucial, says Facchin. Energy storage technologies for shorter durations—predominantly batteries—are well established. But long-duration storage technologies—such as hydrogen and pressurized air—require extensive research and development.
Digitization can also optimize the operations, maintenance and life cycle of these assets. When sensors and computing are placed at the source, such as a power transformer, the control room operators can receive data faster and make decisions in real time.
As the energy landscape becomes increasingly complex, the speed of technological innovation will increase to meet those challenges. In the decade ahead, the use of renewables and carbon-neutral solutions will be geared toward sectors, such as transportation, where there is a great opportunity to advance the energy transition, Facchin predicts.
Facchin sees Hitachi Energy’s role as a collaborative one—leveraging the company’s technology expertise to “help the energy sector to enable an even more efficient, sustainable and resilient energy system for today’s generations and those to come.”
The key is to build resilient solutions that provide a regular, reliable supply of energy—with sufficient flexibility in place to actively manage unplanned severe challenges such as extreme weather events.
“Energy resilience is crucial to actively minimize the consequences of unplanned or unexpected failures,” says Facchin.
Microgrids, for example, can disconnect from a larger grid that is facing outages and operate independently.