Digital Solar For Global Energy Transition

Emerging Markets Could Use Digital Solar To Accelerate Electrification Timeframes, Improve Service Delivery, Reduce Electricity Cost, Says SolarPower Europe Report While Offering Vast Opportunity For PV Developers
08:42 AM (Beijing Time) - 11. November 2019

Digital technologies are being applied to smarten wider energy system and solar PV systems in particular as this diagram in the SolarPower Europe 'Digitalisation & solar in emerging markets' report tries to explain. (Source: SolarPower Europe)

Key Takeaways

  • A new SPE report on the digitalization of solar details its scope for betterment of electricity situation in emerging markets
  • Digital solar is already enabling access to energy for both off-grid, unreliable grid contexts and for grid-connected solar in such markets
  • Digitalisation of solar technology offers these markets benefits of improved and accelerated electrification in reduced timeframe while also curbing costs
  • Solar developers can also explore these regions with the help of innovative digital technologies and business models

In a world growing smaller and smarter thanks to technology, digitalisation of energy is another opportunity to be explored and exploited especially in emerging markets. More so for solar power whose uptake in these markets has seen an unprecedented increase over the past few years. A new report released by SolarPower Europe (SPE) builds the case for digitalisation of the solar sector in such markets to enable these countries to ‘leapfrog elements of traditional power systems in terms of both technology and regulation’.

Calling digital solar as extremely relevant for emerging and developing countries, the report titled Digitalisation & solar in emerging markets Task Force Report lists its myriad of benefits ranging from speeding up of electrification timeframes, improvement of service delivery, reduction of electricity costs and better redistribution of social benefits.

Sprinkled with case studies in various emerging markets, the report explains how digital solar is enabling access to energy in off-grid and unreliable grid contexts as well as the goodness of digitalisation and grid-connected solar in these regions.

The authors of the report point out the increased investment of energy companies in digital technologies and the benefits it brings to the global energy sector in terms of additional revenues for renewables and more customer-oriented electricity systems.

Digitalisation in emerging markets is also a vast opportunity for solar developers to harness innovative digital technologies and business models, scaling-up sustainable and impactful solutions,” reads the report. “Digital solar is highly agile and versatile and many innovations can be adapted to off-grid or on-grid contexts.”

In a foreword to the report, Italian energy company ENI SpA’s Vice-President Energy Solutions Stefano Mantellassi and SMA Solar Technology’s Representative of the Board for Grid Integration Prof. Bernd Engel claim that the report provides answers to the world’s most pressing challenges, including ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 7 of the United Nations.

Produced jointly by SPE’s Emerging Markets Task Force led by Eni and Digitalisation & Solar Task Force led by SMA Solar, the full report was released at SPE’s Digital Solar & Storage 2019 event in Brussels in early November. It can be viewed online on SPE’s website.

This is the second report on digital solar from SPE; the first one was released in 2017 focusing on how digital technology can be applied to solar.

At the same event, SPE launched another report on solar mobility offering it as an effective solution for the European Union to achieve decarbonization goal with regulatory support backing it (see Solar Mobility: An Opportunity For Europe).

Yet another new report on solarisation of electricity in the European Union from SPE attempts to show how the technology can contribute to the region achieving its targeted energy transition aligned with the European Green Deal (see Solar Electrification To Support EU In Achieving Climate Goals).

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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Anu Bhambhani