How do we build the energy system of the future?
Jussi Heikkinen, Director of Growth & Development at Wärtsilä Energy in the Americas, has 40 years of experience in the energy sector so he has some expert insight into the issue, which he shared on a recent Wärtsilä podcast with Terence Mentor.
The main goal should be to increase renewables and ramp down fossil fuel power plants, according to Heikkinen. At the same time, we must make sure that we can ensure the security of the electricity supply under all conditions, while still producing minimal carbon emissions.
Many people ask why we can’t just switch to renewables like wind and solar power now? They are already becoming increasingly important in power generation across the world. The reason is because so much of our electricity is still being provided by inflexible coal plants.
Heikkiinen says to be able to switch completely to renewables, we have to build sufficient capacity in renewables, energy storage, and flexible gas power plants to produce electricity reliably in all situations. If we act decisively, we can close coal plants within the next 10 years, but we can’t suddenly simply ban fossil fuels outright, as it would affect the welfare of society. Instead, we need a good plan to carry it out.
Learn more about the ideal plan here.