ABB Podcast: industry is on the right track with investments in the smart grid

ABB Podcast: industry is on the right track with investments in the smart grid

Why should industries invest in smart  grid already today?  

The latest episode of ABB podcast "Behind the scenes of energy economics" talks about the smart grid from both an industrial and a consumer perspective, as well as power quality and investment in the latest technologies.  

"Energy markets have changed, as has the technology. The emergence of green energies, power quality that varies and technologies that mitigate such fluctuations, as well as the falling prices of battery systems make smart grid investment possible if not even necessary. Industrial automation and robotisation also mean the emergence of data centres to manage production functions and a rising need for skilled people who make the right decisions at the right time in this modern production context. What data centers need is stable power quality and back-up power supplies - to guarantee industries an operation cycle without unexpectedly increasing variable costs," said Jukka Patrikainen, ABB's Lead Business Manager for the Baltic countries. 

"The energy systems change, renewable energy flows into the grids. Technological development we have witnessed these years are the foundation that make it favorable for industries to invest into their competitiveness," said Danel Türk, ABB's global business  manager and expert of new technologies, adding that regional industries are on the right track with investments. 

"The concept of a smart grid has changed. An increasing robotisation and automation in industry for certain functions requires the creation of data centres that stores date needed for certain work processes. The latter - being part of a smart grid - requires smart management. Today's smart grid is already better able to operate, predict future loads and automatically switch over when necessary. The past 10 years, all high-tech components of a smart grid have improved significantly. The efficiency of UPS-s (back-up power supplies), for example, has increased. To exemplify, the first Elmo network of car chargers coincided with the launch of the iPhone. The initial capacity of the former was 22 kWh, today we are talking about megawatt capacities, and we all know that iPhones are much smarter today than they were initially," Türk tells the podcast. "In the energy sector, it is important to look into to the future, instead of studying the happneings of a remote period of 10 years ago. Industries must plan and think what to do in a scenario where electricity goes off temporarily - how do you prevent financial loss," Türk explains.

"Cables in themselves are not smart; it is the components of the smart grid that are actually intelligent. Smart components at both ends of a cable, connecting the cables, make the grid a smart one, and these components are the ones that are truly intelligent," explains Ivo Palu, a professor and Director of the Institute of Electrical Engineering and Mechatronics at Taltech. "We need smart resourses to plan when to consume or not to consume energy," Ivo Palu debated, adding that there is an increasing number of electricity-dependent consumers. "The biggest problem I see here is the lack of engineers," Palu added.  

"It is important to stay up to date with technology news and innovations to ensure that your investment decisions yield the best possible outcomes for companies. Be it in terms of return on investment, or competitive advantage, as well as in terms of technological advantage in the field of activities a company operates," commented Dainius Bružas, the Head of ABB Electrification Business in the Baltic Countries.

Guest panelists Ivo Palu and Danel Türk discuss why it is important for industries to start investing in a smart grid already today. They also address the issue of the shortage of engineers and what would potential solutions be. Host Enn Karin, an engineer and Sales Manager at ABB Electrification Business, along with the guests, note that there is a growing trend towards investing in backup power and that the industry is on the right track with smart grid investments.

ABB's podcast on the importance of investing in the smart grid was also warmly received by a top university. Specifically, the podcast was featured in Taltech's new science and technology portal, Trialoog

A new episode of ABB podcast "Behind the scenes of energy economics", is scheduled to air regularly once a quarter. It can be listened to on various podcast platforms:

Photo: Featured guest Ivo Palu, the host Enn Karin, and guest panelist Danel Türk
Photo: Featured guest Ivo Palu, the host Enn Karin, and guest panelist Danel Türk
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ABB quarterly podcast "Behind the scenes of energy economics" takes a look at the current situation and future prospects of the energy sector. The aim is to provide a comprehensive and understandable overview of what's happening in the sector and to contribute to its development. Topics covered by the podcast include the coordination of energy management, the current state and future vision of the sector, the development and use of energy sources, the improvement of energy efficiency, ensuring energy supply security, promoting fair competition, and the development of energy infrastructure.

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