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Powering the Future of Energy

Space Solar Panel Energy_100322A
[Space Solar Panel Energy - Pentagon]


- Overview

The national power infrastructure, also known as the "grid", has played an important role in national energy security after more than a century of development. Electricity production has traditionally relied on a steady supply of fuel (mostly fossil fuels), which will keep power plants running permanently. 

The eventual shift away from traditional fuel-burning plants to cleaner alternative energy sources will require a redesign of the grid so that it can properly respond to sharp changes in demand, adequately compensate for the intermittent operation of renewable energy systems, and interact with distributed generation systems. 


- The Revolution Starts Today

The energy transition is in full swing around the world, with a major shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Driven by stunning innovation, waves of capital, and changing regulations, business models are evolving rapidly, forming new equations for creating value. As companies and investors put decarbonization at the center of their strategies, social and consumer pressure are forcing new forms of collaboration.

The 2015 Paris Agreement and the recent net-zero emissions policy announcements by China and the United States have transformed governments from cheerleaders for decarbonization to leaders of the transition. From China to the United States and Europe, massive economic stimulus packages aimed at spurring recovery from the pandemic aim to build more resilient and sustainable economic and energy systems. 

The forces of policy, investment and technological change have given the energy industry a set of dynamics not seen since the Industrial Revolution. Over the next decade, new energy systems will begin to emerge. Industries such as oil and gas, power and utilities, and chemicals, once clearly demarcated, will converge and form an integrated energy system. New industrial clusters will emerge, spurred by the emergence of new carriers formed from renewable molecules and electrons. Investors will invest a lot of money.

How electrons and molecules are created, how they move through systems, how they are stored, and their ultimate uses—this dynamic set of forces will open new paths. They will form integrated networks that facilitate the flow of multiple energy types and create new business clusters; develop innovative strategies; and generate a host of responses from the public and private sectors. 

Looking ahead, countries and markets must learn how to work together as they enter this uncertain future, and actors will need to fundamentally rethink the relative effectiveness of purely market-based approaches and accept the guidance and coordination of markets for decades to come.


- The Future of Renewable Energy

Energy is a basic human need that makes the world work. Without it, everything would stand still. A safe, affordable, reliable, clean and sustainable energy supply is essential for human development and economic growth. 

Today, we face enormous challenges: global warming, depletion of natural resources, population growth, increased energy demand, rising energy prices, and unequal distribution of energy, all of which have led to an urgent need to transition to a fossil-fuel-dominated energy sector using renewable energy Renewable energy and energy-saving technologies. 

Renewable energy is an inexhaustible energy source for human beings, including hydroelectric power, solar energy, wind energy, tidal energy, geothermal energy, biomass energy, etc. Renewable energy is highly environmentally friendly compared to single-use fossil fuels. It reduces the damage caused by CO2 emissions and has no emissions issues. 

- National Electric Power Infrastructure

The US electric power infrastructure is a network of power plants, transmission lines, and distribution centers. It's one of the world's largest and most important infrastructures. The grid's importance to the US's financial well-being, public health, and national security is undeniable. 

The US electric grid is made up of: 

  • More than 9,200 electric generating units
  • More than 1 million megawatts of generating capacity
  • More than 600,000 miles of transmission lines
  • Hundreds of thousands of miles of high-voltage power lines
  • Millions of miles of low-voltage power lines
  • Distribution transformers that connect thousands of power plants to hundreds of millions of electricity customers


The grid constantly balances the supply and demand for energy that powers everything from industry to household appliances.

In 2015, the US Department of Energy found that 70% of US transmission lines are more than 25 years old, while lines typically have a 50-year lifespan. The average age of large power transformers, which handle 90% of US electricity flow, is more than 40 years.

(The Basic Structure of the Electric System - Iowa State University)

- Traditional Electric Power Grid

An electrical grid is a network of generators, transmission lines, transformers, and distribution/relay systems used to provide the electricity needed by its consumers (residential, industrial, and commercial). 

Currently, electrical energy is generated at centralized power plants, transmitted through long-distance transmission networks to distribution networks, and then communicated to end consumers, with electricity flowing in only one direction, from the power plant to the customer, collectively referred to as the grid. 

Traditional grids connect large central power stations to distribution systems that directly meet customer needs through high-voltage (HV) transmission systems. Power stations consist mainly of steam stations using fossil fuels and hydro turbines using high inertia turbines to generate electricity. Transmission systems have evolved from local and regional grids to a large interconnected network governed by coordinated operations and planning procedures. 

An electrical grid is an interconnected system that maintains an instantaneous balance between supply and demand (generation and load) while transferring electricity from generation sources to customers. Since it is difficult to store large amounts of electricity, the amount of electricity generated and fed into the system must be carefully matched to the load to keep the system running. 

- IIoT and The Future of Hydropower 

Humans have been harnessing the power of falling water for more than a century. Today, about 16% of the world's energy needs are met by hydropower, and 71% of renewable energy is provided by hydropower. Hydroelectric power has gone through many industrial revolutions. Today, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0 offer solutions that take the industry to a whole new level. 

IIoT technology enables utilities in the hydropower industry to leverage data and optimize multiple aspects of power plants. Rules-based analytics, advanced pattern recognition, machine learning and augmented reality can all help optimize performance and help operators achieve higher reliability.

- Path to a Clean Energy Economy

We live in a world full of cyberspace, biomedical engineering and other incredible technologies. When it comes to energy, however, little has changed from our decades-old coal- and oil-based energy system. Developments around the world have proven them wrong. However, we may soon witness the most dramatic change in the world's energy economy in a century. 

Governments around the world are encouraging the development of renewable energy. Many of these governments are taking steps to reduce the use of fossil fuels for transport and heating, and therefore may increase the proportion of energy consumed in the form of electricity. Over the next 20 years, the world will need to dramatically increase its energy supply, especially clean power generation. "Demand for electricity is growing twice as fast as overall energy use. 


[More to come ...]



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