Advanced Energy recently attended the Electrification 2018 International Conference & Exposition in Long Beach, California. Hosted by the Electric Power Research Institute and sponsored by more than 20 utilities and organizations, Electrification 2018 brought together over 1,800 professionals from across the energy world to network, learn about the benefits of electrification, explore the latest technologies and share best practices for implementing efficient and cost-effective electrification programs.
Advanced Energy had multiple team members attend the conference , and we talked with them after to learn their top takeaways.
There is a need for increased utility account management training on industrial operations and electrification. Specifically, account managers would benefit from education on electrification processes and opportunities, how to find them and what to do once they are found.
A theme among vehicle manufacturers is to move toward vehicles and charging stations that are connected (to support smart charging) and shared (for ride-sharing). General Motors in particular has a bold vision of achieving zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion through a mix of electric, autonomous and shared vehicles.
In addition to manufacturer commitments, the transition to electric transportation is being aided by many independent organizations, utility programs and software tools. However, support on the consumer side is still needed, including helping people see the value of electric vehicles, making home and public charging more available and engaging dealerships.
Agriculture is becoming further electrified by moving indoors. Indoor agriculture, including greenhouses and vertical farms, often relies heavily on lighting and heating and cooling, so these customers can represent large operations that contribute to utility growth.
There was a good discussion about the energy-water nexus, or how energy is needed to process water and water is needed to generate energy. The Advanced Energy industrial team has begun to focus on water and wastewater treatment plants, so the emphasis on this area at the conference was reassuring.
Advanced Energy had a great experience at Electrification 2018 and is already looking forward to the next meeting, which will be in our home state. We hope to see you in Charlotte in April 2020!