How important is sustainability?

How important is sustainability?

Vol. 9 Issue 1

What is sustainability?

Sustainability has been the subject of very dynamic discussions in the scientific and technological communities during the last couple of years. However, as the approach is relatively new, there are still many different views on the topic in terms of what should be covered by this subject, what metrics should be used, what limits should be set, etc. So, many details still need to be clarified and communicated in order to achieve a common understanding of all stakeholders and use a common approach to improvement of sustainability.

This article focuses on this topic based on an extensive Transformers Magazine’s Industry Navigator research, conducted in 2021 [1]. Among other topics, the research has explored a couple of key questions from the framework of sustainability.

How to improve it?

The part of the research covering sustainability was designed with the focus on the entire value chain of transformers, and considering a couple of fundamental assumptions.

The first one is the forecast that, due to an increase in population and also in energy consumption, the electrification will almost double by 2050. This implies that electricity will be the backbone of the entire energy system, and transformers the key component of the energy system.

The second one is related to ambitious goals of reducing the carbon footprint, with the ultimate goal of limiting the effects of the global warming (e.g., 1.5 °C above the pre-industrial levels). The International Energy Agency has presented a scenario for power sector emissions with an average decrease by 7.6 % per year until 2030 and a complete decarbonisation by 2040. A major part of the carbon emissions comes for the losses in operation. Transformers, despite having a very high efficiency, even beyond 99 %, contribute to some 5 % of electricity losses, and therefore our research has been strongly focused on losses.

The plans for improvement of sustainability also include protection of local ecosystems, responsible use of resources, enhanced safety, etc.

 

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