Clean electrification — the transition to a clean, electrified economy
A clean, electrified economy is when every major economic sector is 100% powered by electricity generated from clean energy, instead of fossil fuels. If we want a fully decarbonized and electrified economy in North America — one that combats climate change and delivers clean, affordable, reliable energy — then we need to embrace clean electricity.
So how do we achieve clean electrification?
First, by decarbonizing the power sector, which means adding a massive amount of renewable energy and supporting technologies, like energy storage, to the electric grid.
Second, we must build out and modernize our energy infrastructure to deliver clean electricity to every corner of the U.S. by adding thousands of miles of new transmission lines. By thinking nationally, we can transition our power sector from a centralized system to a digitally connected decentralized model that is less susceptible to extreme weather and mass power outages. So, if, for example, there is an abundance of solar energy in Arizona, it can be used to power an energy spike in Chicago experiencing a deep freeze.
And third, turning energy consumers into active market participants. With advanced technology like onsite battery storage, EV charging and demand response systems, consumers and businesses can create value in a fully electrified economy —reducing energy use and earning payments by supporting the grid at critical moments.
Your operations as an island of power
As clean electrification takes form, businesses will need to invest in distributed energy resources (DERs) to monetize and save on electricity and ensure operation resiliency amid the impacts of climate change and increasing shareholder pressure. By installing solar-plus-storage systems and technologies that allow businesses to run independently of the grid, DERs can foster power and operation resiliency
As the electric grid transforms from an outdated distribution network — a one-way flow of power from plants to businesses and factories — to a modernized, interconnected system, renewable sources will be supplemented by numerous decentralized consumer sources. By adopting these DERs, businesses can be both energy producers and consumers — i.e.,“prosumers.”
A prosumer’s increasingly dynamic role in the energy market means a dramatic shift to their relationship with energy — transitioning from a passive user to a key player in the process. By leveraging technology and adopting proactive strategies, prosumers capture revenue otherwise left on the table.
Some of the most immediate and valuable opportunities for businesses making this transition include enrolling in demand response programs, generating power from renewable sources like rooftop solar panels, installing on-site battery storage and tapping into grid-connected electric vehicle chargers for corporate fleets and employees. Flexible energy projects like these can save businesses millions in energy expenses.
Electrification in action – Enel and University of Massachusetts Boston
The energy transition is accelerating, which spells opportunity to reimagine traditional business models and create space for new, sustainable growth. For example, the University of Massachusetts Boston recently developed a 25-year master plan that included creating a more environmentally sustainable campus. As a major step in that plan, they partnered with Enel X to add solar, storage and smart EV charging to the Boston campus.
At the center of the university’s strategy was the combined solar-plus-storage system, which automatically stored and used clean, low-cost electricity at times when consuming from the grid is the most expensive. The integration with the energy storage system allowsthe university to generate and store renewable energy, reducing the campus’s grid dependence and energy spending by more than $1.5 million in total value.
The innovative partnership — which leverages smart, cloud software to boost potential earnings — takes the campus to the next level by minimizing costs and maximizing the value of the solar energy generated.
Join the decade of electrification
The global climate crisis is the most pressing challenge of our lifetimes, and the coming decade could make or break our future. It is vital for businesses to electrify their energy consumption and join the solution to combat climate change. Renewables are the fastest way to meet global decarbonization goals, are cheaper to build and decrease dependence on volatile energy market prices. Clean electrification is a once-in a generation opportunity for businesses and energy consumers to capture a greater value of the electrified future.
Are your operations ready to plug in? Take the Clean Electrification Quiz to find out.