Special Feature 2020 - Contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Accelerating the Decarbonization of Society
In 2018, the IPCC*1 released the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, which calls on limiting the rise in global average temperatures to 1.5°C of pre-industrial averages. Based on this report, global trends toward the decarbonization of society are accelerating. The Nidec Group, which has contributed to energy saving through the provision of highly efficient motors and related products, is also exploring ways to make a further contribution to the global environment, tackling another challenge to create energy.
Case 2 Battery Energy Storage Systems that Support the
Use of Renewable Energies
Power generation from renewable energies such as wind and solar energy are affected by weather conditions. Electricity supply cannot constantly meet demand and the supplied electricity does not conform to frequency standards (Hz). These power problems, including power failure and unstable power quality, occur frequently throughout the world and serve as barriers to the realization of a decarbonized society.
To resolve these problems, Nidec ASI S.p.A. has focused on microgrid technology, which ensures optimum power management on a regional basis through the integration of various power generators and storage batteries, taking advantage of its knowledge of industrial power systems and power quality. In particular, special attention is paid to BESSs*2, which can store surplus power to ensure stable power supply at the time of power shortage, as a core technology, and a project aimed at establishing large-scale BESSs in various parts of Europe has been underway. Through the project, the total operating capacity of BESSs has reached 612 MW (the volume that can cover the power consumption of 120,000 households) as of the end of FY2019. This project is attracting considerable attention in European countries, which are ahead of other countries in terms of initiatives for limiting warming to 1.5°C, as well as emerging countries, which are advancing the creation of power infrastructure toward economic growth.
*1: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: A body set up by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to conduct surveys and offer recommendations on climate change.
*2: Battery Energy Storage System
BESSs supplied to STEAG GmbH in Germany
Ensuring a Stable Energy Supply Worldwide
The BESSs, produced by Nidec ASI S.p.A., based in Milan, Italy, are growing into the main pillar of Nidec's renewable energy business. In 2016, Nidec ASI drew attention by supplying BESSs with a total capacity of 90 MW, which is the world's largest capacity to date, to STEAG GmbH, a leading power company in Germany. According to a survey conducted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the total global operating capacity of BESSs produced by Nidec ASI is more than 500 MW, which is ranked top in the world.
With this background, I attended the Innovation for Cool Earth Forum (ICEF), an international conference held in Japan in October 2018, on behalf of the Nidec Group. At the ICEF, approximately 1,000 people from academic, industrial, and governmental circles in about 80 countries and regions discussed the resolution of climate change issues. At the subcommittee “Renewable Energy Microgrid and Energy Access,” I gave a presentation on the microgrid solution business, including BESSs, citing our company's case. In the presentation, I introduced the value provided by BESSs and their future issues through a case example where the establishment of a demand-side area power system for renewable energy in a mountain village in Chile enabled local residents to receive a stable power supply 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Due to the spread of the use of renewable energy on a global scale, the global BESS market is continuing its rapid growth by an annual average of 10% to 15%. I anticipate that this strong growth will continue for at least the next 10 years. I would like to continue to contribute to ensuring a stable power grid in the world and realizing a decarbonized society through the spread of high-quality and state-of-the-art BESSs as a market leader.