The world is going through an unprecedented crisis, during a unique transformation known as the 4th industrial age, reshaping companies’ operations, business models and trading schemes. This new era is looking to achieve prosperity through sustainability and as a consequence the energy industry has changed dramatically over the past decade.
Countries will need to work on building a more sustainable and diversified non-oil economy that will integrate the industrial sector in their strategies. Focus should also be set on artificial intelligence to ensure a smart management of production, distribution, and demand.
Focus should be on economic diversification and technological innovation as a driver for future developments.Massimiliano A. Cervo
In this context renewables continue to grow fast and this will probably help to boost global power supply in the years ahead. After the oil crash and COVID-19 countries will need to reduce the risk of dependence on oil and gas revenues, their price volatility, and changes in global dynamics. In contrast, renewables are now cost competitive as a result of large-scale grid connected projects.
Renewables can help develop socio-economic benefits through fossil savings, stable prices, emission reductions and job creations. Also, solar rooftops are more job intensive per unite of installation, enabling more job creations.
Another measure that governments need to focus on is energy efficiency, setting new targets for reduction of energy demand, water consumption and greenhouse gasses emissions. Green codes, incentives for electric vehicles, promotion of public transport, fuel efficiency standards and actions that lead towards circular economies should be implemented. This will work as a driver for the integration of renewables and alternative energy sources. Such measures will need the support of tariffs, vehicles to grid, hydrogen, and batteries to accelerate the adoption of demand side management, which would help to balance the electric load to the generation profile of intermittent sources.
Decentralizing production will play a main role in the energy transition, being an enabler of liberating monopolized electric markets. Companies will need to adapt to this change of paradigm, investing in trainings, education, and experts that with cross sectorial approach can build new business models, elaborating sustainable energy strategies that would diversify their existing portfolio. Focus should be on economic diversification and technological innovation as a driver for future developments.
In conclusion, systematic diversification of the energy mix will need the incorporation of renewables and other energy alternatives, backed by frameworks, hybrid projects and development of local sustainable clusters.