Nina Dusper Sušić, Country Managing Director Hitachi Energy d.o.o.

Energy Transition Is Key

More than 3,000 Hitachi Energy engineers are working every day to deliver new projects and new solutions that contribute to our sustainable energy future. They believe in their experience, investments in research and the latest technologies

Despite COVID-19 and the Russia- Ukraine situation, the global energy crisis, high inflation, and supply chain disruptions, we have the opportunity to leverage the sustained tailwinds on the demand side that are being driven by the transition to clean energy ~ assesses Hitachi Energy’s Nina Dusper Sušić.

The world is going through one of the worst ever energy crises, with no end in sight. How do you see this situation? Are there any solutions?

The political and economic situation has shown continued uncertainties across the globe. The COVID-19 situation continues to impact on people and cause disruptions to business, the Russia-Ukraine situation is having a devastating impact on millions and generating the global energy crisis.

The complex relationship that Western economies have with China, persistently high inflation and supply chain disruptions are adding complexity and uncertainty to global trade and markets. While practically every sector is impacted by these unprecedented situations, we have an opportunity to leverage the sustained tailwinds on the demand side that are being driven by the transition to clean energy. Together with customers and partners, we have continued to collaborate to deliver projects and launch new solutions that contribute to our sustainable energy future.

Your innovative solutions are dependent on experience, investments in research and the latest cutting-edge technologies. Are these solutions universal or do they require adaptation to certain markets, countries, industries etc.?

Our smart and innovative solutions are based on over 230 years of combined experience and continuous investment in research & development, which over 3,000 engineers are working on daily.

In order to help its customers achieve their sustainability goals, Hitachi Energy has developed advanced services, amongst other things, as a part of the EconiQ™ portfolio, where products, services and solutions are proven to deliver exceptional environmental performance.

These services utilise Hitachi Energy’s domain knowledge of energy systems and local market requirements and standards to find sustainable solutions in many different sectors, including renewable energy, industries, data centres and transportation. The main advantages of EconiQ services is that they can be customised to local requirements and smoothly integrated at any phase of the asset lifecycle in order to evaluate and reduce impacts on the planet, thereby significantly supporting critical energy investment decisions and efficient energy operations across the planning, building, operating and maintaining of power assets.

One of your goals is to fight for a future free of harmful carbon emissions, in which electricity will represent the backbone of the entire energy system. How distant is such a future?

In January 2022, Hitachi Energy reached its first step target of using 100% fossil-free electricity in its own operations. By using 100% fossil-free electricity in our own operations, we managed to reduce our CO2 equivalent emissions by over 50% compared to 2019.

In January 2022, Hitachi Energy reached its first step target of using 100% fossilfree electricity in its own operations

We are continuing to invest in the journey to carbon-neutrality by further increasing energy efficiency, as well as electrifying our own operations. For example, in Ludvika, Sweden, the company is now using 100% renewable electricity generated from hydropower and, to a lesser extent, from solar panels to support its operations. Ludvika, which is one of Hitachi Energy’s largest production facilities, has gone beyond tackling its electricity supply and is now close to removing the use of all fossil fuels from its entire operations.

We believe that, over time, renewable energy sources will be effectively integrated into the world energy system, which will contribute greatly to ushering in the carbon-neutral future.

There are numerous challenges when it comes to sourcing electricity from Renewables. How difficult is it to ensure the stability of the grid and the predictability of supplies?

It is not easy to ensure the predictability of supply, but there are solutions to leverage on stability. For example, a mix of renewable sources (microgrid), as well as implementing solutions like our battery energy storage system (BESS).

BESS is a longer-term solution that strengthens grid resilience, reduces energy costs and represents a large back-up power source, while improving the efficiency, reliability and user availability of the power system.

Hand holding light bulb against nature on green leaf with icons energy sources for renewable, sustainable development. Ecology concept. Elements of this image furnished by NASA.

That’s why BESS and the microgrid are today becoming increasingly popular around the world. They enable reliable access to the power supply and allow for a significant reduction in use of fossil fuels, as well as a reduction in overall maintenance costs, thus supporting a future based on sustainable energy.

Investing in clean energy technologies makes energy systems more modern, more resilient and cleaner, while stimulating much-needed job creation

Reducing the use of fossil fuels is a step towards accelerating energy transition to a carbon-neutral energy system. In order to limit the impacts of global climate change, it is necessary to look to renewable sources like solar, wind and hydropower that capture naturally occurring energy and convert it into electricity. Investing in clean energy technologies makes energy systems more modern, more resilient and cleaner, stimulating much needed job creation in the short term, and also enhances future economic competitiveness and productivity.

What can you tell us about your Lumada platform?

It is one of the many strategies that are key to creating a carbon-neutral future. Hitachi outlined its growth strategy and commitment to strengthening its digital and green portfolio, which is focused on Lumada. Lumada encompasses a plethora of software solutions from basic Asset management, via Workforce management and Field service management, to entire Enterprise Software management.

The Lumada ecosystem is accelerating the journey to a sustainable society through the data-driven cycle of value co-creation with customers. It represents a complete solution that provides an easier, more cost-effective and scalable way to gauge the visibility of assets and factors like the current state, asset health and encroachment from a variety of sources, recommending ways to manage and reduce risks by alerting field crews. It thus provides industrial organisations with the tools they need to get the right information to the right teams when they need it most. The result is improved asset reliability, safety, and global sustainability efforts.

Analyses conducted by your experts show that the consumption of electricity globally will grow from today’s 20 per cent of all energy use to more than 40 per cent by 2050. Will we be able to secure that much electricity? How can this be achieved?

Energy transition is key. Together with our customers and partners, we are energised and motivated by the shared goal of accelerating a carbon-neutral future. To achieve carbon-neutrality in our own operations, the main goal is turn to renewable energy, investing in fossil-free electricity and energy efficiency, ensuring our facilities are as efficient as possible – aimed at the recovery of the green economy. This electricity will become the backbone of our entire energy system, powering all elements of modern society from transportation to heating and cooling, to myriad industrial processes that lead us to a sustainable energy future. The region is surely well on its way to becoming greener and we are looking forward to developing and supporting the energy transition in these dynamic times.

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