World Economic Forum recognizes Smart Wires, ABB and Siemens as Top Global Innovations in Critical Infrastructure from 2010-2020
May 27, 2020
Today’s report from the World Economic Forum’s International Energy Community in China has highlighted Smart Wires SmartValveTM as one of the energy sector’s influential innovations during the last decade. Winners were chosen based on several criteria including their benefit to society and contribution to accelerating the energy transition.
“Smart Wires is honored that our solutions were included on a very short and prestigious list of technologies recognized as critical enablers of the energy transition,” said Gregg Rotenberg, Smart Wires CEO.
Suleman Alli, director of strategy at UK Power Networks, said: “As the first network operator in the UK to trial the Smart Wires’ power flow control technology, we are delighted to see it recognized by this World Economic Forum report. Trialling smart solutions like load balancing highlights our commitment to unlocking new capacity for renewable energy safely, cost effectively and quickly.”
Smart Wires was recognized for its ability to maximize the grid’s transfer capacity which is necessary to enable rapid, low-cost and large-scale connections of new renewables.
Rotenberg reflected, “It is remarkable how much spare capacity exists on today’s grids. We regularly find projects where we can release several gigawatts of capacity in under a year without disturbing communities or the environment.”
“SmartValve is our solution to maximize the grid’s transfer capacity. This technology is causing leading utilities across Europe, Australia and the Americas to change the way they think about future investments in critical infrastructure,” Rotenberg said.
Submissions were evaluated by a panel of experts from the US, Europe, China and Africa. Selected submissions were grouped into six categories: Critical Infrastructure; Emission Reductions; Energy Efficiency; Systemic Efficiency; Renewables Integration; and Access to Electricity.
“Transmission and distribution grids are the backbone of the entire electricity network. Radical changes [from the supply and demand perspective] require our critical electricity infrastructure to be more flexible and agile than ever before, without compromising on power security, reliability, efficiency or affordability. Innovative grid technologies are playing a key role in addressing energy transition-related opportunities and challenges,” the report says.
ABB was recognized for advances in High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) technology, supporting the integration of large-scale renewables, off-shore wind farms and cross-border interconnections.
Siemens was recognized for its Modular Multilevel Converter (MMC) technology, representing a technological breakthrough when connecting large offshore wind parks to the grid.
These innovations have proven themselves over the past decade and will continue to be pivotal to enable a successful, low-cost and low-impact energy transition.
About World Economic Forum: The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. (www.weforum.org).
About UK Power Networks: UK Power Networks is the country’s biggest electricity distributor, making sure the lights stay on for more than eight million homes and businesses across London, the South East and the East of England. Network operators aren’t the same as energy suppliers; network operators manage local power lines and substations, while energy suppliers sell the electricity that runs through the power lines. UK Power Networks continues to be listed in the Sunday Times’ Top 25 Best Big Companies to Work For, and made industry history by becoming first company to win Utility of the Year two years running (2015 and 2016, also 2012).
The company invests more than £600 million in its electricity networks every year, offers extra help to vulnerable customers at times of need, and is undertaking trials to ensure that electricity networks support the transition to a low carbon future. It also moves cables and connects new electricity supplies. If you have a power cut ring 105, see www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk or tweet us @UKPowerNetworks