Interview with Laurent Favre, Managing Director, Transformers, Power Grids Business, ABB
What are the main new opportunities and challenges emerging in the transformers market, anything new that customers are looking for?
The global energy demand is expected to grow significantly in the coming decades with electricity being a major contributor. At the base are about 950 million people in the world that still lack access to electricity, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Providing access to modern energy to all is one of United Nations Sustainability Development goals and, with transformers being critical components in a grid, playing our part in this is important for us. In addition, there are the mega challenges we collectively face such as global warming and increasing environment degradation. Combating all these challenges is an opportunity for global technology leaders, like us, with vast domain expertise and a commitment to sustainable development. We are innovating transformer technology for applications such as renewables integration and distributed generation, higher levels of energy efficiency, regional and country grid-interconnections to tap clean energy from remote locations and for new-age sectors like electrical mobility and data centers. At the same time, we pursue sustainable design to solve issues such as resource scarcity and getting the transformers ready for a circular economy. Last but not least, we need to make the digital revolution work for us. Already the growing synergies between digital technologies and transformer intelligence are catalyzing all of the above and will be an important driver to help our customers “do more with less”.
What is ABB’s Transformer business long-term strategy and vision?
We are the global market leader in transformers industry with many trusting customers across the globe. Today, we face a complex market environment, with opportunities emerging from new needs and demands as explained above. Our unquestionable human capital knowledge is grounded on solid foundations coming from a hundred-year heritage of technology leadership; we are determined to use this strong base as a spring-board to outpace market growth. Our long-term vision is to ensure we provide maximum value to our customers and maintain our market leadership position based on cutting edge technology and innovation. Therefore, we will continue to invest significantly in R&D. We will enable our customers to utilize digitalization for improving their business performance and develop new business models to provide them end-to-end solutions in transformer operations and maintenance. Other important pillars of our strategy are investing in the development of our people and operational excellence. We are committed to continuous improvement in our Health, Safety, Environment and Integrity performance and consider that our license to operate.