COVID-19 Gave Us a Glimpse of the Future Grid

GTM Interchange Podcast February 3, 2021

Last March, lockdowns swept across Europe, forcing an eerie silence on some of the world’s most iconic and bustling cities. It caused a steep drop in electricity consumption — putting pressure on thermal generators and giving renewables a greater share of the generation mix.

The COVID-19 crisis proved the European grid can handle large amounts of renewable energy, even at levels we didn’t expect to see for another five to 10 years.

So how do we take this knowledge and game out the future?

Principal Analyst at Wood Mackenzie, Tom Heggarty explains how COVID provided a glimpse of the future flexible supply system and accelerated the transition to renewables.

Senior Manager for Business Development at Wärtsilä, Jyrki Leino and his team at Wärtsilä wanted to help answer some simple questions: What happens to European power markets if the trends started during the pandemic persist? And what happens if renewables are meeting nearly all load demand?

So they built an open-data test environment called the Wärtsilä  Energy Transition Lab. It’s like a fact-based choose-your-own-adventure for energy geeks. Or a crystal ball.

In this episode, Tom and Jyrki talk about the renewable energy possibilities playing out in the midst of the global pandemic and how it could impact the future grid.


Photo by Brad Switzer on Unsplash