Preparing for the grid of the future
Interview with Michael Cunningham, Chief Operating Officer, Camlin Group / Managing Director, Camlin Energy
The electric utility industry is facing major challenges in the next decade: the need to invest in renewable generation and low carbon technologies; maintaining aging network assets within significant budget constraints, and at the same time providing reliable and affordable energy in the face of a rapidly changing consumer landscape. These demands mean the transition to a more robust, resilient, flexible, decarbonized grid.
Michael Cunningham, Chief Operating Officer of the Camlin Group, is a keen observer of the industry and sees Camlin playing a key role in helping utilities navigate this changing landscape.
“Decarbonization and the road to Net Zero underpin everything,” he says. “The topology of the network is going to be quite different ten years from now, with onboarding of renewable energies and low carbon technologies at every level in the grid, from the consumer with electric vehicles and solar panels right up to high voltage renewable generation and everything in between. That means an electricity grid with multidirectional power flows and a changing demand landscape, making it exceedingly difficult to plan and predict the behaviour of the grid into the future. Utilities can only see with any reliability a short time into the future, and the grid must withstand that.
As it stands right now, this is exceptionally difficult. To meet these challenges successfully, the industry needs to evolve rapidly, which needs new technologies, new methodologies, new partnerships, and new ways of thinking.”