In his debut book The Energy Switch, leading energy expert Peter Kelly-Detwiler, is exploring the power grid’s transformation in the United States and around the world. In this episode of The EU Project Zone Podcast, Kelly-Detwiler explains to Enlit’s Areti Ntaradimou how energy companies and consumers are transforming the electrical grid and the future of power.
Already in the first chapter of his book, Peter Kelly-Detwiler introduces quite a bold statement. He writes that the energy transition dwarfs the industrial revolution.
Why is that?
Because on one hand “the global organised economy is just that much larger” now and on the other, during the industrial revolution “there was no grand design or global goal the world was working towards”, as opposed to today. Climate change anyone?
Of course, the energy transition demands a grid evolution too. According to Detwiler, the grid 1.0 started with fossil fuels, then it evolved to 2.0 (approximately 30% to 40% renewables), it will evolve in the near future to 3.0 (60 – 70% renewables supported by storage and growing levels of distributed energy resources) and then finally get to 4.0 (long-duration storage, likely hydrogen).
Speaking of hydrogen, that’s a horse Detwiler would bet on at least for the last mile in the power grid and as the best tool for decarbonizing much of heavy industry, starting with steel.
And regarding storage, the transition from NMC to LFP is happening rather quickly because it’s both economically and morally important. In other words, LFP is 30% cheaper and in addition, cobalt mining is just unsavoury.
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Moreover, on a surprisingly timely topic, the writer and energy expert describes the Ukraine hacking incident of 2015 and explains how vulnerable utilities still are to cyber-attacks. And guess what… now that AI is being employed by both sides, things get can get tricky in this ‘spy vs spy game’.
In the interview, he also notes that in order to reach our collective goals for the planet’s climate in 2030 and 2050, we need some bold political decisions. “We need to act more as if we love our children, grandchildren, and generations we will never meet,” he says.
Listen to the full discussion in the first episode of The EU Project Zone Podcast and find out also what the people that actively work in the industry really think about the sector and how they envision the future of the planet when it comes to energy.