Here's how digital technologies will change energy storage
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Here’s how digital technologies will change energy storage

Here’s how digital technologies will change energy storage

The energy sector has now truly entered the digital power era, says Charles Yang, SVP of Huawei and president of Global Marketing, Sales and Services at Huawei Digital Power

How will digital technologies change energy storage specifically?

Currently, almost 40 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions come from electric systems. Promoting the construction of new power systems based on renewable energy will be a crucial task to accelerate carbon neutrality. However, renewables such as solar and wind power are unstable power sources because they are intermittent and fluctuating. With the increasing proportion of renewables, a large number of energy storage systems must be deployed throughout power generation, transmission, distribution, and consumption to function as reservoirs, regulators, and stabilisers.

For example, in a traditional energy storage system, inconsistency of lithium batteries results in problems such as low available capacity, short service life, and potential safety hazards. We can leverage controllable power electronics technologies to help solve the uncertainty of lithium batteries.

As a relatively new business in the Middle East, what is your mandate for Huawei Digital Power at this point?

We believe that the energy sector has now truly entered the digital power era. We are thus committed to integrating digital and power electronics technologies, developing clean power, and enabling energy digitalisation to drive an energy revolution for a better, greener future.

In particular, we are now focused on clean power generation, energy digitalisation, transportation electrification, green ICT infrastructure, and integrated smart energy. Huawei Digital Power provides products and solutions that cover these areas. This includes smart PV, data centre facility, site power facility, mPower, embedded power, and integrated smart energy.

What background does Huawei bring in the global power industry?

To contribute towards carbon neutrality, we are helping to meet our customers’ requirements for integrated energy solutions and telecom carriers’ requirements for energy saving and emissions reduction. To do that, we have called upon our years of experience in digital and power electronics technologies. In June 2021, this resulted in Huawei Digital Power Technologies Co., Ltd. formally being established. Huawei Digital Power leverages its advantages in digital and power electronics technologies such as AI, cloud, and big data to help customers implement simple and efficient operation and maintenance while providing clean and stable power supplies.

What fields within the power sector will you be prioritising in the region?

The key to achieving carbon neutrality is to build a new power system based on renewable energy. Power generation, transmission, distribution, consumption, and storage will be built upon digital and power electronics technologies. Huawei will leverage its advantages in these areas, working with partners to accelerate energy digitalisation and enabling the upgrade of a wide range of industries. At the same time, we will accelerate the generation of electricity using clean energy, support green transportation, and establish green sites and green data centres.

Through these efforts, we will help customers and society at large build low-carbon buildings, campuses, and cities to become carbon neutral as early as possible.

What does the integration of digital technologies and power electronics look like in practice?

At Huawei, in the solar smart PV domain, we combine AI with tracking technologies and use an intelligent tracking algorithm to determine the optimal tracking angle, enabling 1 per cent more energy yield than traditional methods. As another example, in the domain of data centre facilities, we use AI technologies to save energy, decreasing their power usage effectiveness (PUE). When it comes to site power facilities, we help telecom carriers adopt AI technologies to implement intelligent peak staggering in base stations, improve battery utilisation, and cut their electricity bills.

Data centres are now a point of concern as they consume a massive amount of energy. Will Huawei be exploring this area of focus?

By 2030, mankind will enter the era of YB data (1 YB = 1000 ZB). The amount of new data generated worldwide will reach 1,003 ZB, which is more than 20 times that of 2020. ICT infrastructure is thus the foundation of the digital world and is also a big energy consumer. The proliferation of data will result in increased energy consumption challenges to ICT infrastructure. The power consumption of data centres accounted for approximately 1 per cent of global power consumption in 2019. According to Data Economy forecasts, the world’s data centres could consume 1/5 of Earth’s power by 2025.

Data centres also face time-consuming construction, high energy consumption, and complex operation and maintenance. The construction process of data centres needs to be green and recyclable. Prefabrication and assembled construction will become more common. We adhere to the “modular + intelligent” design concept. By reshaping architecture, cooling, and power, we can build secure next-generation data centres, helping organisations halve the construction period, accelerate their return on investment, and reduce the PUE by 8 per cent to 15 per cent.

Looking into 2022, what are the business’ goals and ambitions for growth in the region?

Today, the Middle East is both a major energy producer and a global pioneer in exploring alternative energy systems. As a result, a greater focus on decarbonisation and green development has been ingrained in many national development visions to date. The UAE Energy Strategy 2050 is just one example of this, in which the nation is actively adopting the transition from fossil fuel-based power generation to green energy.

We, therefore, see a huge potential for Huawei Digital Power to support national transformation agendas in building a better and greener future. Huawei Digital Power is very optimistic about its business prospects and has already developed many digital and power electronics technologies after long-term R&D investment.

Moreover, we feel it is a priority to develop partners, establish an ecosystem, and achieve shared success through collaboration.

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