challenges facing utilities today – and how to overcome them

From decarbonisation to grid modernisation, we explore the complex challenges facing utilities today.

Far beyond the power sector, people across the world are looking for ways to reduce the human impact on climate change. Utilities are driven to produce power more sustainably, as well as investing into new markets and technologies to support growth through innovation.

For utilities, the energy transition has been underway for a long time, as they continuously evolve away from purely coal-based power, and recently there has been mounting pressure to decarbonise both production and the supply chain.

Embracing decarbonisation and sustainability

In today’s world, decarbonisation and sustainability are not just buzzwords; they are imperatives that utilities must wholeheartedly embrace. As public pressure intensifies to reduce emissions while meeting the ever-increasing demand for energy, utilities are faced with the dual challenge of producing more power and producing it more sustainably.

Around 90% of utilities’ emissions stem from their supply chains. This realisation underscores the importance of knowing the emissions associated with suppliers’ activities. To combat this, utilities need to collaborate closely with their suppliers to track and reduce the carbon footprint across the entire value chain. This might involve promoting cleaner production processes or sourcing materials from low-emission suppliers.

Developers and utilities require transparency at the asset and corporate level and across the value chain, to enable comprehensive assessment of emissions-related risks and opportunities. This transparency is not just about emissions data; it’s about understanding the broader sustainability practices and risks within the organisation, including aspects such as resource efficiency, waste reduction and overall corporate sustainability strategies.

And it’s not enough for utilities to reduce their own emissions. They must actively contribute to the creation of green energy. Ambitious targets for renewable energy production are central to this effort. Utilities are investing in a diverse array of renewable projects, from wind farms and solar installations to cutting-edge technologies like offshore wind and advanced energy storage systems. These initiatives are not only reducing emissions but also diversifying the energy mix and enhancing grid resilience.

How can utilities address the challenges they face?

Addressing multifaceted challenges requires a combination of strategies, including:

Data-driven decision-making: Utilities must harness the power of data analytics and market insights to make informed choices regarding growth, decarbonisation and sustainability initiatives.

Collaborative partnerships: Building partnerships with experts in the energy sector can provide utilities with the knowledge and tools needed to navigate complex regulatory landscapes and achieve their sustainability goals.

Investment in innovation: Utilities should allocate resources to research and development, exploring cutting-edge technologies and innovative solutions that drive efficiency, reduce emissions and improve grid resilience.


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