story of software episode on decarbonizing the grid with software

#28: How Software Can Decarbonize the Grid – Story of Software Podcast

Padraig Coffey, CEO at Zartis and podcast host, is joined by David Boundy, CTO at Innowatts, as they discuss the opportunity for software to reduce the global carbon footprint of electricity production.



On Electricity Grids and Decarbonised Grids


Energy production accounts for 72% of the global emissions. Moving this sector towards cleaner options is key in fighting climate change.  


The Guest

This episode’s guest – David Boundy – has more than 20 years of experience in the energy and digital innovation sector. He is currently CTO at Innowatts, a data analytics company that helps utilities and energy retailers from around the world optimize their businesses with energy usage data and AI-enabled predictive analytics. 


Tune in as David shares his expertise and insights in this area. Some of the topics covered:

> What is an electric grid? What is a decarbonised grid?

> Who are the leaders internationally in driving renewable energy?

> The most promising technologies in the renewable space?

> How can software be used to decarbonize the grid? 

> Microgeneration.

> What does the future of the energy sector look like?


Episode Preview


Q: Dave, can you explain what an electric grid is? 

Simply put, the electricity grid is the system that delivers energy from its point of generation to its point of consumption. That system, in effect, hasn’t really changed substantially since its invention and introduction over 100 years ago. So we’re at a point where we’re seeing a dramatic change. That change can be summarized in – we’re moving away from a demand lead system whereby whatever we need in terms of electricity – when we want to switch on our lights or switch on our oven; or an industry wants to heat up and melt metal – they can do it when they want to. And the way in which that is supported is the network operators who build and own the network systems – that are the cables and the transformers that deliver the energy to the consumption point – they just put in more cables, bigger transformers, and the generation companies provide more generation. Typically, in the past, that would have been large scale coal or gas fired power stations. 

What we’re now seeing is that we’re at the point where there’s a transition from that demand lead system to a supply driven system. And what I mean by that is, as we move to the renewable era, the supply of electricity becomes dependent on those renewable sources. So when the wind blows, when the sun shines, that’s when we’ll get electricity. And whilst we can store a certain amount of power, we can’t store all the power we need. And hence, we’ll start to see a change and a shift in terms of the consumption to be much more aligned with the availability of supply. And that’s where digitization comes into play, and analytics, and how we can enable that. 


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