Network June 2019

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NETWORK / 21 / JUNE 2019 to take up, we will see a place for more so- ware and digital orientated companies. Q How important is it for energy companies to start preparing for the mass take up of EVs? A There are a couple of challenges. If you look at the issue of EVs in a traditional way, then loads will increase tremendously. That could mean we have to enhance the network, but we will need to look at flexibil - ity models and digital solutions for demand side management, as well as other flexible solutions, like storage and how we can use it effectively. They need to look at how other additional distributed energy sources can help to avoid additional investment. The other area companies need to look at are digital solutions to allow them to create a marketplace for the future. The other key is to look at all the generation options and make optimised decisions to meet the grow - ing demand for energy. Q To what extent will digital technology change the relationship between suppliers and consumers as well? A I think the tipping point for this rela- tionship will be when EVs become a mainstream transport option. That will be when consumers will turn into prosumers and create their own energy, trade energy and so forth. Through smart meters, consumers will be able to see and control their bills, see how much energy they will use or when they can sell energy back to the system. It will be an opportunity to create a new platform for consumers to tap into trading, telecoms and even other services. That could change the relationship fundamentally. Q What is ABB doing in the area of digitalisation? A Within the power value chain there are today a lot of digital technology and soware solutions that have been deployed and we have lately digitalised both high voltage equipment and transformers. More digital substations are also being commis - sioned across the globe. In addition, grid edge solutions like microgrids, but also predictive and preventive maintenance solutions and digital enterprise soware provides unified communication. We are also partnering with key industrial players and academics to really foster innovation and bring about innovation. We have got a partnership with Imperial College in London for the development of future grids and they also have a demonstrator at Impe - rial College. We are also working with ICL to fund the academic studies over there for the future grid. We are working with both academics and the private sector to ensure future networks are covered by all aspects of innovation. We want universities to chal- lenge technology and help everybody by continually developing new ideas. Adopting technologies like this Static Frequency Converter can help the transition from distribution network operator to distribution system operator.

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