Leading the Charge

The renewable industry will continue to grow over the next 20 years with the cost difference between it and traditional sources becoming narrower. That’s according to Anda Ray, a speaker at the upcoming marcus evans Renewable Technologies Summit 2010.

Ray, Senior Vice President - Environment & Technology, Tennessee Valley Authority, said that a more mainstream adoption of renewable energy sources must be encouraged.

A specific approach is needed when it comes to showing how renewable energy can work within an industry. “We need to look at how renewable energy can uniquely solve a particular problem for the electric and energy industry stakeholder. The answer will be different worldwide. Nevertheless, when you have too many disparate reasons for doing something, you weaken its ability to be communicated, implemented and adopted. At the moment, I do not think the renewable industry is unified in its approach to position renewables as an exciting, viable, and valuable part of the energy future.”

The value-add benefits of renewables will enable it to compete, rather than become co-dependent on incentives or relegated to an undifferentiated commodity, she added. “Renewable energy providers need to look at how they can add value by reducing the perceived risk to the clients, while continuing to be innovative in the unique attributes of their product in combination with other customer “gaps” or synergies, such as solar with electric vehicle charging or wind energy with battery storage, or thermal solar with heat recovery systems.”

There are, of course, issues involved in switching to renewable sources of energy, Ray explained, with the main challenge identified as integrating renewable energy sources into existing power generation business models. However, an array of opportunities also exists. “There will be a potential for using renewables in different ways, such as supporting the steam cycle on a steam plant, looking at augmenting onsite power, or projects that are not directly integrated onto the traditional power grid model.”

The Renewable Technologies Summit 2010 will take place at the Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa, Las Vegas, Nevada, July 14-16, 2010.