Session 16: Transforming From the Old to the New in Energy Systems

May 8th, 2018

The “economies of scale” paradigm that guided development of existing electricity systems, refineries and transportation systems was based on a rational technical and economic framework. Comparisons between digital economies and asset heavy-infrastructure often oversimplify the rate of change possible in energy systems. This creates uncertainty in planning energy systems, where there is an inherent conflict and “messiness” arising between stakeholders in the sphere of technology, business and policy. To manage this uncertainty, it will require flexible planning that can evolve alongside technology and business model innovation. Imagining the future might be easy... but getting there will be the challenge! For this session, the focus will be on speakers who can articulate the challenges of transitioning to “NEW” energy systems and solutions that are adapted from, or evolve from, conventional past and current approaches and thinking.


Session Chair: Farid Ahmed Khan, Senior Energy Specialist, Islamic Development Bank


K. Srivastava, General Manager, Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd.

The Role of Power Transmission in Combating Climate Change: Powergrid’s Perspective

This presentation will describe the steps taken by Power Grid Corporation of India, Ltd. a transmission and distribution company, to combat the effects of global warming and climate change. One example includes the creation of high capacity transmission network “NER-NR HVDC Interconnector” for importing 6,000 MW of low carbon hydropower from India’s North Eastern Region to the Northern Region which is dominated by carbon intensive coal based thermal power. This network virtually eliminated the CO2 generated by thermal generation used to meet the energy demand of the Northern Region. Other initiatives include the development of high capacity “Green Energy Corridors” to evacuate about 20,000 MW of renewable energy.

Hongpeng Liu, Director, Energy Division, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)

Energy Transition Pathways for the 2030 Agenda in Asia and the Pacific

This presentation will go to the heart of the challenges of the energy transition and propose a new paradigm of energy system planning. Its insights are derived from recent studies by ESCAP featuring current status and outlook for the energy transition in Asia and the Pacific. The presentation will propose options for accelerating the achievement of universal access, a substantial increase in renewable energy and the doubling of the rate of energy efficiency. The menu of options includes evidence-based policy pathways and planning tools, technology options including digital technologies and Big Data as well as cooperation for finance and investment. The presentation invites the private sector and policy makers to come together and have an informed debate on the design of the energy transition in the region considering its economic, social and environmental benefits for all.

Pramod Jain, President, Innovative Wind Energy, Inc.

Digital Business Models for the Future Electric Utilities

Within the next decade, the cost of dispatchable renewable energy will achieve cost parity with conventional power plants. When this occurs at a larger scale, there is likely to be a significant amount of defection by the most profitable customers to self-generation or other forms for community-based generation. This would cause the collapse of the current business model of utilities. This presentation will answer the question: when utility-scale RE+storage is below wholesale price of energy, and smaller-scale RE+storage is below retail price of energy, then what type of business models would be sustainable for utilities? New digital business models are currently evolving in the US and the EU that are a mashup of cryptocurrency based trading platforms, trading models in which utility owns the exchange in which consumer and producers trade, and several other innovative options. This presentation will explore such alternatives and describe a digital roadmap for utilities.

Traver Kennedy, Chairman and CEO, Joi Scientific Operations Pte. Ltd.

Closing the 100-Year Gap: Electricity in Every Home

More than 100 years after the first power cables were laid down, 1.2 billion people around the globe still have no access to electricity. Many of these people live in the poor neighborhoods that have sprouted around megacities in the developing world, which fall outside the design and reach of the grid that supports these cities. To take electricity to the level of 100% access, we need a distributed source of power that can operate independently of the electric grid. This presentation will describe new technology advances that are coming to market that can reliably produce electricity and heat on-site 24/7, such as those using the hydrogen in water, to help close electricity’s last mile.