Utilities and the low-carbon future – Interview

Professor Benjamin Sovacool, Director of CIED interviewed by Siemens on the role of utility companies in the low carbon transition at the European Utility Week.

The article focuses on the role of utility companies in the transition to a low-carbon future and on how policy can drive the decarbonisation of the electricity sector. Professor Sovacool argues that “a renewable power sector is achievable with the correct configuration of policy support and political leadership”.

Article excerpt:

To stem the effects of climate change decarbonization is imperative, and the key to success lies in the trend toward an increasingly digitalized and decentralized energy sector. Technology and energy policy play a large role in these trends, but are utilities also ready to lead these changes? The Magazine asks author and leading energy academic Professor Benjamin Sovacool.

The electricity sector is in the midst of a radical transition: from fossil-based to renewable sources, from centrally controlled national systems to a multiplicity of connected but autonomous microgrids, from demarcated roles for market participants to consumers – or prosumers – who store and generate their own power. To understand these changes requires embracing the basics of several disciplines that include politics, economics and consumer behaviour along with how we generate, transmit and store our power. At the same time, a constant eye has to be kept on climate change and the urgent need to decarbonize.

Fortunately, there are people who relish this challenge, and one of the most illuminating and tireless is Professor Benjamin Sovacool. In his office at the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand at the University of Sussex, on one of those damp British days that make it easy for some to forget our world is heating up, Sovacool recalls that the distributed-generation or prosumer model is in fact over a century old and was used by his compatriot Thomas Edison, America’s greatest inventor and the founder of the first investor-owned electric utility…

A full copy of the feature article based on the interview with Professor Benjamin Sovacool is available via Siemens online publication “The Magazine”. The article also features a video interview with Professor Sovacool.

A brief overview of the End Use Energy Demand Centres (EUED) is available via the following link.