According to research from Schneider Electric, the seismic energy transition is having a massive impact on the power supply and grid networks, which needs to be quickly addressed as businesses buy into the net zero energy transition.

Published in Schneider’s Powering Change report – developed with the participation of 850 businesses leaders from around the UK and Ireland – key findings show an overwhelming 94% of Irish businesses see carbon footprint reduction as a priority for their business.

The report states that:
• 36% have switched to a clean/renewable energy supplier, and 50% plan to do so in the next 2 years
• 26% have installed a microgrid or renewable power source, and 43% plan to do so in the next 2 years
• 10% have switched to an electric fleet, and 36% plan to do so in the next 2 years

Upgrading existing power networks within the next decade will be crucial to ensure a future powered by renewable energy and capable of supporting other distributed energy resources (DERs) such as microgrids, electric vehicles, and storage batteries. Electrical distribution systems must also digitise to support the energy transition. Without action now to support and optimise bi-directional, decentralised energy flows and deliver a resilient and efficient supply is required, there will be little hope of satisfying the growing ambition among Irish businesses to contribute towards 2050 net-zero emissions targets.

“As utilities look to invest in upgrading the electrical network to drive net-zero grids by 2035 and simultaneously increase EV charging capacity, they will also be looking to avoid creating upward pressure on the cost of electricity for consumers and businesses who are increasingly conscious of their own footprints. Taking action now and harnessing a “smarter” grid to create network efficiencies and smart load balancing while also giving the ability to drivers, homeowners and business owners to earn from their energy surplus could provide an incentive to balance the grid and create a culture of ‘prosumerism’ – a win-win situation,” said David Hall, VP Power Systems at Schneider Electric.

[Image: Matthew Henry for Unsplash]