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Resilience in the Energy Context

There are two ways to look at resiliency in the energy context, the “bigger-picture” definition is a business’ ability to react to change. In the face of accelerating technology, innovation, change in broader market landscape or politics, whatever change happens, is your business able to last through it and thrive?

Another way to look at resiliency is in terms of business continuity in reaction to climate change, reacting to natural disasters, hurricanes, earthquakes and rising sea levels in areas where you might have more regular flooding. This is particularly important for businesses whose critical services relying on 24/7 energy reliability.

To ensure energy resilience, a lot of power companies are embracing energy storage and renewable sources. The less reliant on the traditional nonrenewable energy resources, the more able it is to be resilient in the face of natural disaster or unforeseen issues with supply.

Companies that proactively embrace renewable energy sources like solar and wind are in a position to use this as a strategic lever to create business opportunities. For example, these businesses can make a point of being open when a storm or blackout forces others to shut down. That serves a role in their communities, because they are then able to provide a safe space, supplies, and services when people are without electricity. But, most importantly it is also a business opportunity, being the company that has power on during an outage.

The call for resiliency in energy is more important now than ever. With the effects of climate change being felt globally, the weather is more extreme, with a lot more hurricanes disrupting heavily populated areas than in the past. There is also the impact of cyber threats to the electricity grid in major cities which can also impact our smaller member states.

In parallel to that, there are also a lot more ways to do something about these threats. There was no way to get electricity without the grid in the past, without relying on expensive backup generators. But new technologies like solar and energy storage are increasingly providing alternatives that can align with a resilience strategy. Also, technologies like big data analytics can help identify trends that could be costing money and solutions to resolve them.

With a resilience plan, the supply chain is protected from sudden changes to the amount of energy resources available, geopolitical concerns affecting pricing and regulations, and so on. Resilience, for many energy companies, can mean protecting the supply chain for your core product.

The risks associated with ignoring resiliency include possible disruptions to service, there’s also the broader risk that you’re exposed to market forces that you aren’t prepared for, that could seriously affect your financial performance.

Resiliency will be the focus at this year’s CARILEC Renewable Energy and Smart Grid Conference and Trade Show from 15th to 19th September in Miami Florida. Under the theme: “Rethinking further Resilience in an Era of Disruption”, over the course of 5 days, an A-list of influential energy leaders and professionals from around the globe are set to critically discuss the challenges of minimizing disruptions, explore new opportunities and innovations in the smart-grid sector and examine possible solutions.

The accompanying trade show offers firms and institutions in the renewable energy sector the opportunity to display and observe new technologies, exchange information and network. Of particular interest for small island developing states participating, will be trends and opportunities in smart grid technology. A number of global leaders in this arena will participate in the trade show, among them Electro Industries/GaugeTech, Tantalus and Aggreko microgrid and storage solutions.

The CARILEC Renewable Energy and Smart Grid Conference and Trade show is a draw for a diverse range of participants ranging from regulation, ICT, energy, finance, research, academia, as well as donors, thought leaders, experts and students.

Partnering with CARILEC to stage the 2019 Renewable Energy and Smart Grid Conference and Trade show are CARICOM, Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE), Clinton Foundation, Rocky Mountain Institute and Women In Renewable Energy Network (WIRE).  Lead sponsors are ABB, Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC), Census and Electronic Power Design (EPD).

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