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COVID and the Grid

By Adam Carey, Delta Australia

Traffic congestion, running late to that meeting, up 3 hours early to contend with the early morning commute, flying on a plane 1000km’s for that one face-to-face meeting with a customer to talk about their energy efficiency project. And if you are a company that values the transition from fossil fuels, should you be transacting business with other businesses that appear to talk the walk or not walk the walk?

Our industrialised arrangements of travelling to work, to sit in cubicles is much like the way the centralised electricity grid has been constructed or even the road networks of our cities. Building bigger road networks, wider lanes to handle the morning commute or bigger transmission cables to handle peak demand may have been redundant. The rapidly evolving challenges of COVID are transforming both our road networks and our electricity network, whether we know it or not.

One thing that COVID is rapidly doing, because of social distancing measures, is radically realigning our message and the methodology in which we go to business; our time is more flexible but more valuable, those moments of inspiration for that new business strategy are more readily captured. You may wake up at 5.00am, jump on the computer, answer the emails at 5:30am, get in early on that deadline or write this article at 7.00am.

And in the process of that change, working from home or not travelling on a plane, is that you realise that for a company that prides itself in its green message, you are then acutely aware of some of the benefits that this global pandemic is having on the environment. NASA images over China, Italy are already showing the reduction in air pollution and it’s hard to imagine that in the near future. Are we really wanting to go back to that old way of doing business?

Will we ever have to jump on that flight at 6.00am? Probably, but the meetings with our customers will be special, less casual with clearer objectives and outcomes from both sides, not merely a one-sided transaction. Time will be more precious but deadlines will always remain.

Peak demand will shift, nearly 50 years of energy data will be challenged and soon there will be a new normal, a new way of doing business. Data and the internet will be like any other utility; water, electricity and light. It will be an Essential Service. More investment will be required by Governments to secure that essential service, with both back up, power security to support the transition. Greener power that reduces emissions and pollution. Smarter ways of doing business.

The rapid transition to a greener electricity grid may come our way albeit because of COVID.

About the Author (Guest Writer)

I joined Delta Australia as Regional Business Manager focusing on Smart Energy + IoT Smart Lighting. I have over 25 years experience with the energy market in Australia and am involved in local government smart energy projects, where the exploration of the current regulatory energy models highlights significant challenges for the future as cities transition to a smart electrical energy future while moving away from centralized power systems to energy hubs.

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