The technology group Wärtsilä hopes to lead the way in the power industry’s transformation towards a future that utilises 100 % renewable energy. In announcing its vision for the energy market, Wärtsilä is making a call to action since the technologies required to achieve this vision are already available. The energy sector is changing for all stakeholders, and Wärtsilä wants to harness its range of capabilities to lead that change. Already today, renewables - solar and wind in particular – constitute a major share of the total power generated in a number of markets, which is driving the paradigm change in the power market.
Central to maintaining a sustainable and profitable future is the need to maximise renewable generation, which is made possible by generating assets having the necessary flexibility. In the 100% renewables world, the majority of the energy produced will be from solar and wind power. The required operational flexibility will be provided by flexible gas assets using synthetic renewable fuels, by the extended use of energy storage technology, and by optimising the lifecycle of the existing installations.
As an energy system integrator, Wärtsilä intends to combine various assets to create optimal paths towards a future with 100 % renewables. As the levels of affordable renewable energy continue to replace the existing inflexible power generating capacity, a growing market for flexible generation and energy storage solutions is being created.
“Obviously the speed of change differs between the markets, but the general pace is becoming faster and faster. We have already reached the first milestone along the route to our vision becoming reality now that renewables are already competitive without subsidies in many regions. The next milestone will be when renewables start to replace existing inflexible thermal capacity across the globe. This will be the ultimate tipping point and, supported by reduced energy storage costs, will enable renewables to become the new baseload,” commented Javier Cavada, president, Wärtsilä Energy Solutions.
Wärtsilä is committed to enabling sustainable societies with smart technologies, and believes it is positioned at the heart of future energy systems. The company’s power generation solutions are expected to be a key element within the 100% renewable power system future. Its engine solutions already have the capability to run on various gas and liquid fuels, and the cmpany is looking for opportunities to develop engines for synthetic biofuels, as well as traditional biofuels.
“Existing inflexible thermal capacity is currently slowing down the transition to renewable energy generation in many places. We are helping our customers, through sophisticated power system modelling, to understand the opportunities provided by affordable renewable energy, and the implications it has on their power systems. Investments in affordable renewable energy, together with flexibility will be the winning global portfolio for our customers,” noted Matti Rautkivi, director, Sales & Marketing, Wärtsilä Energy Solutions.
“Wärtsilä’s extensive portfolio, (engine power plants, LNG solutions, renewables, energy storage and integration, lifecycle optimisation, and new technologies such as power to gas) is built around the need to provide customers with the flexibility and reliability essential in a changing energy world. We are able to support our customers throughout their asset lifecycle by improving their efficiency and even contributing to new business models” added Pierpaolo Barbone, president and EVP, Wärtsilä Services.