Most renewable energy technologies have one problem in common: they do not generate power in a constant and reliable way matching the consumers demand. For example, solar panels only generate electricity with sun light during the day and wind turbines only operate when wind is blowing strong. Therefore, with these new sustainable but intermitting technologies, power needs to be stored for times when electricity is not generated.
One possibility to store electricity are batteries. However batteries are expensive, making it financially unattractive to store clean energy. But this fact does not prevent T-shaped people to think about ways how to solve the problem. As described in a Technology Review online article, a possible solution could be smart software that enables batteries for various types of functions, such as regulating voltage levels or trading energy. These different functions generate multiple sources of revenue, making a business case possible.
I find it fascinating how people connect different service systems to create innovative solutions. In this case, the service system of software is used to make the service systems of batteries and renewable energy more competitive. Ultimately, this interdisciplinary thinking could help to make clean energy a success and the world a better place.
Guest Editor (AH)