The magazine of Friedhelm Loh Group

The magazine of Friedhelm Loh Group

The challenge of the energy transition

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Although the energy transition is crucial for securing a stable, environmentally friendly and prosperous future, it is and always will be a Herculean task. According to a study from Norway, barely any aspect of the energy sector will be the same by 2050. This also means that the opportunities for industrial companies are huge, for instance in terms of accelerated grid expansion and smart energy management. The key levers are end-to-end digitalisation and standardisation.

Text Ulrich Kläsener, Hans-Robert Koch, Steffen Maltzan ––– Photography

Turn away from nuclear and fossil fuels and towards renewables and better energy efficiency. The guiding principles of the energy transition certainly sound good. However, that change is also going to be disruptive. Conventional business models and entire infrastructures, products, technologies and services all need to be restructured. What makes this process really stand out is that it affects every sector of the economy, because everyone works with power in some way, whether they generate it, store it, convert it, distribute it, or consume it in industry, transport or buildings.

So, why exactly does the energy transition present such an extraordinary challenge? On the one hand, it’s because the task is expansion is immense and covers every aspect of the energy system. It affects power generators at the start of the supply chain just as much as it does grid operators and industrial companies as end users. On the other hand, the task is also big-blueprint for it anywhere in the world. Simply switch? It won’t work like that,” points out Uwe Scharf, Managing Director of Business Units at Rittal.

There is, at least, a broad understanding of what this mammoth project relies on – a shift in focus for primary energy sources, establishing new infrastructure, and adopting a highly efficient and diversified approach to handling power. According to the highly regarded study “Energy Transition Outlook 2022” (ETO) produced by Norwegian company DNV, the share of electricity generated from renewables is to hit 83% by 2050. By contrast, the share of electricity generated from fossil fuels will drop from 59% to 12% and nuclear power from 10% to 5%.

It is crucial for the future that energy sys-tems are converted rapidly. Solutions are also needed that will take energy man-agement in companies to a new level. “In the future, commercial success will be determined by energy efficiency and the digitally assisted, smart management of energy flows, consumption and load peaks, particularly in the manufacturing industry. In parallel with this, energy suppliers and grid operators will need to vigorously pursue infrastructure expansion and conversion,” says Scharf. According to the study, Europe is continuing to act as the driving force behind the energy transition and renewables are being established and expanded at a faster rate due to the energy crisis. As Scharf puts it: “The energy transition is taking place in an overall context that, on the whole, has never been more complex or dynamic. This also means that a challenge on this scale almost always offers one-time opportunities to reposition yourself.

back Part 2: Interview with Uwe Scharf  

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