How To Connect Renewable Energy Sources Around The World With A Uber-like Smart Network?

摘要: “In the future, we are not going to pursue ownership, but the right of management. However, this goldmine hasn't been dug out yet. So I will provide the equipment for mining gold first. When everybody has gold at their disposal, then it’s time for me to be the dealer.”

(Chinese Version)

Shanxi Guangling Smart Wind Field Management Center

Shanxi Guangling Smart Wind Field Management Center

This article is part of the series report on fringe technologies which TMTpost has been digging into, produced by journalist group Future Report. This time, journalists from TMTpost went to Shanxi province and Shanghai to gather information on the story, hoping to bring together a picture of a new energy era of the renewable energy and photovoltaic industry.

As a forerunner in the Internet energy industry, Envision Energy is making energy go digital and shaping it into products and software, in an attempt to alter the uncertainty, intermittency, volatility, and distributivity of renewable energy.

How to build a Uber in the new energy sector?

The mist swirls in the mountains. Standing below the 80-meter-high turbine we feel the power of the 55-meter-long fan every time it strikes down. On the mountains in the distance, stand tens of other turbines working stably, with their fans barely seen.

The mist has blocked the view of these turbines, making them look lonely in the white fog. Despite the that hardly visual scene, digital data are being sent from the turbines straight across all mist. There is communication in the air. When a turbine generates a wake flow that might impact the rotation of another turbine’s fans, it would automatically adjust its movements (leeway or variable pitch) so as to let the wind power flow smoothly through.

Every time the 50 turbines at the Shanxi Guangling Wind Power Field react accordingly to the environment or generate data, the Smart Energy Management Center in Shanghai, which is 1200 km away from the field, will hear it. Thousands of similar turbines scattered across the country with 66 wind power fields in total. Some are set in mountains, some are situated in wilds where wind blows like a hammer. Despite the distance, a smart network formed by data unites them.

Even at the west Illinois plain in American on the other side of the planet there are tens of Avatar turbines have installed the Wind OS, which allows them to have access to this digital platform. The largest software company in the renewable industry in Europe, BazeField, is going to join this system as well.

Hundreds of photovoltaic power plants across China, North America, and Europe are also integrated into this energy Internet. The upcoming 28,000 public charging piles in North America are going to join the network too. This network of energy is literally painted with electricity. The very painter of this masterpiece of power and energy is the most ambitious and well-set pioneering enterprise in the Internet energy industry in China, Envision Energy.

Founded nine years ago, Envision Energy started its entrepreneurial journey by making smart turbines, and now has made it into the top three turbine providers and the largest offshore turbine provider in China. Its smart wind power filed management platform Wind OS handles a wind power asset of 50,000 MW globally.

In 2014, Envision Energy entered the photovoltaic industry and acquired the second largest software company that focuses on management software for renewable energy in Europe BazeField, made strategic investment in the largest e-vehicle charging pile Internet company in the world ChargePoint, and invested in the leading smart power grid big data tech company Autogrid. Envision Energy’s global energy Internet ecosystem layout has apparent on the right track gaining momentum.

However, the current scale of this power network hasn’t met Envision Energy’s CEO Zhang Lei’s expectation yet. In his vision, the energy system in the future will connect billions of power plants, photovoltaic panels, energy storage battery, charger network, and energy-consuming equipment, forming an actual super brain for the power network.

In Envision Energy’s blueprint, the energy Internet will be the operating mechanism of the renewable energy era. Such mechanism can make energy go digital and shape it into products and software, which can alter the uncertainty, intermittency, volatility, and distributivity of renewable energy. Before the era of zero marginal cost for the energy industry, predicted by Jeremy Rifkin, comes, Envision Energy is building the Uber in the energy industry with the concept of the right of management over ownership.

Guangling Smart Wind Field

Guangling Smart Wind Field

From resource to data

“Once the resource has been detected, almost every city and county in Shanxi province expressed the will for cooperation,” director Wang of Shanxi Guangling Wind Power Field, the very first independently built wind power filed of Envision Energy, explained to us when we were shocked by the abundant wind power resource that Shanxi province has. “Even the very ground we are standing on right now has resources. The only question is whether it’s worth developing.”

“In the past people would tend to build turbines on higher grounds since only when the wind speed reaches 7 or 8 m/s would it be considered as worth developing and people would invest in it,” director Wang explained.

At present, empowered by turbine field products from Envision Energy, low-wind-speed regions which account for over 60% of the total wind power resource in China, has become worth developing as well. In 2015, XuanCheng Yihu Wind Power Field ranked the first in terms of the UTH (utilization hours) in Anhui province all year round while the wind speed in that region maintained below 6m/s for almost six months.

“In the wind power industry we have a saying that goes ‘the birth decides everything.’ That said, the original gene is of the most crucial,” the director of smart turbine product line at Envision Energy Li Heng told TMTpost, explaining that smart turbine products from Envision Energy were created to insure the generation of the best genes of every turbine field.

According to Li Heng, the blueprint for the renewable energy sector is a large and complex system. The performance of software and the computing capacity are the threshold for renewable energy detection platforms.

Smart turbine fields on the other hand, overcome such thresholds in the very beginning and have partnered with the largest super computer Milkyway-2, the National Supercomputer Center in Jinan, and the National Supercomputer Center in Wuxi, putting almost unlimited computing resource in constructing flow models and turbine field simulations, which prevents flaws caused by simplification and makes highly accurate wind power resource and location assessment possible.

Let’s look as Guangling Turbine Field as an example. Envision Energy locates the best wind resource in Guangling through its global renewable energy resource data base that integrates data on resources, geography, and environment and designs a refined smart turbine field with the help of industry experts.

“When enterprises are considering building a turbine field, they usually have a limit for the return,” Li Heng said. “Once the return sees a 5%-10% increase, many projects that used to be unfeasible would become feasible and many new projects would surface.

This improvement creates the change of backbone for the renewable energy structure.” The success of helping clients increase the turbine fields’ actual investment return to over 20% has made Envision Energy the lever the fundamentally upheave the change in energy structure. What’s more, Envision Energy’s platform is also the result of knowledge and technological advancement.

If we were to say the biggest drive of wind power resource exploration and assessment lies in big data, computing power, and in-field experience, then the biggest problem in photovoltaic industry is the transparency issues in asset risk.

“Downstream projects need funding. But the capital doesn’t dare to pour in as the investors can’t really see or understand the risks in these projects,” the general manager of Envision Energy’s photovoltaic line Sun Jie told TMTpost. A survey report on tens of power plant developers and financial organizations in the industry shows the biggest issues here is that the investors do not participate into the development, construction and operation of the photovoltaic plants, and therefore have doubts on the data on these projects and have little faith in them.

“Only when we have successfully built a mature downstream industry can we improve the competition in the upstream and eliminate incompetent production. When that time really comes, it would be the start of a thriving age for the industry,” said Sun Jie.

“Why they are afraid of being tricked? It’s simple. The lack of transparency on risks and quantization of risks causes that. That’s why we designed Apollo Rating to use big data on the photovoltaic industry to help financial organizations improve risk transparency and make a complete risk grading.”

Like grading organizations such as Moody's and Standard & Poor's in the financial sector, Apollo provides a third-party risk grading service on photovoltaic power plants which is equivalent to professional risk check on photovoltaic power plants. Though a 80% online and 20% offline assessment, the system can identify and quantify the risks the power plant field of different type would face in any time point and bring about an objective and quantified risk grading assessment result to the user.

For instance, in the resource assessment phase Apollo will assess the project through 5 aspects and 120 risk points; in the implementation phase the system will assess the project through 8 aspects and 500 risk points.

Since the Apollo Grading System exactly fits what’s needed in the industry, it has garnered cooperation from over 50 domestic financial organizations just ten months after the launch, one third of which are deep cooperation. “In investment meetings of the photovoltaic power plant project, the risk control departments from the financial organizations would usually prepare three materials.

One is the opinion of the lawyer. One is the opinion of the audit. And one is the Apollo Grading assessment. The financial organizations will determine whether to loan or not, the loan amount, the interest rate, and the year limit in accordance with these information.” The amount of investment involved in the projects in China assessed by Apollo accounts for over 50% of the total investment in the country.

Apollo grading product is based on the big data from Envision Energy’s Apollo Photovoltaic Cloud Platform. Powered by the big data, the system can assess and grade the risks of every photovoltaic project more accurately and comprehensively evaluate a power field’s performance as a whole. Through analyzing the past generating capacity of the power field and predicting the return, the system can make dynamic evaluation on the value of the power field.

Investors can use the third-party data monitor and data analysis of the Apollo Cloud Platform to grasp the development of the performance and risks of the power plant asset. Up till now, around six hundred photovoltaic plants with the capacity ranging from hundreds of kilowatts to several megawatts have employed Apollo’s cloud platform, making it the largest distributed photovoltaic power plant management platform.

It should be noted that most photovoltaic projects that have connected to Apollo’s cloud platform are distributed projects such as factories, hospitals, and schools etc. Such projects account for over 50% of the total in America, Japan while distributed projects in China only account for 2% of the total solar energy power. Looking from this perspective, a blue ocean sure lies afar for this industry.

If we base wind energy exploration on a global climate and geological model, then collecting the data on photovoltaic resources should adopt the O2O way, which means scanning an entire region. In some sense, such activities are a movement of enclosures, and the war has already begun.

Envision Energy CEO Zhang Lei

Envision Energy CEO Zhang Lei

From smart turbines to smart wind fields

It’s the dog-day period near the end of summer, but the swirling wind on top of the 2000-meter-high mountain blew freezing cold, making people can hardly stand in the wind. Our journalists shivered in the cold wind under the turbines. The turbines stood untouched, as if the wind had little affect on its cord.

The workers at the wind field told our journalists that these turbines are just as sensitive as humans. Sensors that collect data on the temperature and wind speed have been installed on the turbines’ generators, gearboxes, macroaxises, and fans, enabling the turbines to become aware of their internal and external status. The data collected from the sensors will be forwarded to the PLC controls on the turbines.

The PLC controls are an integration of Envision Energy’s data analysis system, performance control system and decision-making algorithm etc., running under two million lines of codes, which is 20 times greater than ordinary turbines. The controls allow turbines optimize their decision making and processing in accordance with the real-time status.

Compared with that, traditional turbines are like primitive animals that only react on reflex. They will turn to the direction once they have detected where the wind is blowing. When they sense the wind is growing strong, they will engage in variable pitch and load shedding.

Just sensors inside every that are the eyes and ears of the Internet of Things, Envision Energy’s smart turbines employ around 600 advanced sensors, way much more that ordinary turbines that have less than 100 sensors. With this comprehensive sensory technology, these turbines can sense their status both externally and internally, achieving front-end sensing and self diagnosis.

Each turbine is given the power to collect as much wind energy as it can to improving generation efficiency by adjusting the facing direction and the angle of fans in accordance with the wind speed and wind direction data. These are the foundation of smart wind fields and energy Internet.

Besides learning to think, this technology also brings cooperation upon the turbines. At the Guangling Wind Field for example, the anemometer towers, turbines, and electric transmission and transformation equipment operate on the same Internet of Things platform, which is Wind OS, a smart wind field operation system developed independently by Envision Energy.

With statistical model, in-field testing, past meteorological data, and fluid mechanics etc., the Wind OS can achieve a smart and four-dimensional management that exceeds traditional real-time management by grasping the wind flow status of the wind field in the past, present and in the future. This makes that seemingly lone turbines become a pack that cooperate, which can maximize efficiency.

The logs that record the data the turbines had accumulated and the adjustments made provides the resources and data for Envision Energy to build a sample-trained forecast model based on neuro networks. By analyzing the historical data and learning, the model can identify different wind speed models of the wind field.

It works like a stock analysis model as it generates different models based on the wind speed. In this way, the turbine make simulation to compared the actual wind status and the models, and make a forecast of the next second accordingly. Therefore they can adjust their course or pitch. In theory, they would be able to utilize all the energy while lowering the damage done to the turbine to the lowest.

Apart from the turbines, Guangling Wind Field has also achieved the connection between wind, equipment, personnel, and electric quantity, and the real-time monitor of the operating status of every turbine and booster station. The system also makes real-time predictions of the flow status and the wind speed of the wind wheel, telling staff about the status of the turbine real-time.

In fact, the data collected on the status won’t be processed locally, but will be sent to the smart energy management center in Shanghai for monitor and processing. After receiving the data, the center can use the energy management, statement management, and malfunction management application and the specialist database built by Envision to make analysis, and come up with a solution for the wind field. The staff at the wind field can also check on the operation status of the turbines on their tablet or smart phone, anytime, anywhere.

Director Wang has actually grown a habit of checking out the status of the wind field even when he’s on vacation. He showed our journalist a few management applications on his Surface —— OS device monitor, EMS, OM, PHM —— which he uses to check on the power generation in theory and actual power generation and analyzes what causes power loss. These applications eliminate about 20 indicators and tens of report forms that traditional wind fields used to have and make the status all visual around the fingertips.

Works at a wind field can be really specific. Reports and suggestions on EBA and generation loss for example, according to Li Heng, can boost the power generation by 5% - 10%.

In the past, there are only two statuses on turbines, which are malfunction and operating. Sometimes a small problem could also trigger the malfunction mode, which causes a great deal of loss. At present, Envision Energy’s smart turbines have five modes, generating normally, operating on sub-healthy, disorderly close-down, shutdown by the user, and shutdown due to the weather. Even under the operating on sub-healthy mode, the turbines can still generate power, but also alert the maintenance staff to fix the problem before a close-down occurs.

Thanks to the help of the Wind OS, little personnel is needed to watch over the Guangling Wind Field. At present, there are only a two-people team that watches the field for the night and a 6-people for looking for malfunctions. Compared to that, the wind field that faces right to the Guangling Wind Field has two teams of eleven people that take shift looking after the field while the wind field only has an utilization time of only 900 hours in the first half of the year.

In comparison, Guangling Wind Field has an utilization time of 1700 hours, ranking the top in Shanxi province. To put it into perspective, last year Guangling Wind Field’s power generated was one third more than the average of the state-run wind fields of the same scale.

Whether it’s the Guangling Wind Field, the top wind field in Shanxi province, or the top wind field Nanyi Lake Wind Field in Anhui province, all of them have shown the value Wind OS has on bring out wind fields’ potential. Statistics show that wind fields that adopt Wind OS has an average no-malfunction operation time of 800 hours (the average of European wind fields is 400 hours) and availability of the turbines reaches over 99%.

In addition to that, the Wind OS has successfully lowered the operation and maintenance cost by 40% and has improved the working efficiency of the staff, enabling one person to manage 60 turbines while one person could only manage 10 turbines.

At present, besides Guangling Wind Field, more than 600 other wind fields in China have implemented Envision Energy’s Wind OS, including China General Nuclear Power Group, CHINA LONGYUAN POWER GROUP, and State Power Investment Corporation’s wind fields etc. Furthermore, foreign companies such as Pattern and Brookfield in the U.S., Starkaft in North Europe etc. have connected to the system as well, adding more 5000 GW wind resources to the platform. Without a doubt, Wind OS has made the largest renewable energy smart network in the world.

Smart Energy Management Center, Shanghai

Smart Energy Management Center, Shanghai

From Wind OS to Energy OS

Wind resource is only a part of the Wind OS, the energy interconnection operating system. “We are not only doing power generation management, energy storage. We will also penetrate the power charge sector. We have made strategic investment in the largest charge network company ChargePoint. We believe it will become a module on the operating system,” Colin, vice president of Envision Energy’s software engineering department said.

Since Envision Energy started to enter the photovoltaic sector and invest and acquire global smart grid big data and energy management service providers from last year, Envision Energy has been building an energy interconnection operation system, the Energy OS, which connects and manages billions of turbines, solar panels, smart terminals, storage battery and charge pile network etc. and achieves seamless connection of upstream supply and downstream demand through Internet of Things, big data, and cloud computing technology.

Energy OS has been dedicated to building an Android system in the energy interconnection sector. As an open platform, third party software companies can customize and develop applications fitted for different scenarios in future energy interconnection via Energy OS. Envision aims to rely on Energy OS as the backbone to integrate all the top partners in the vertical sectors globally, forging an ecosystem of energy interconnection.

Compared with the giant IOT, what makes Energy OS different? During the interview, Colin had stressed the importance of domain knowledge for several times. Energy OS is developed by energy scientists and software engineers. It’s a combination of engineering technologies and software technologies.

From his point of view, Envision Energy is able to accumulate knowledge in science engineering for its unique advantages in the energy sector. “The energy sector in the future will be a distributed system. The first thing about it is connection as it connects different devices and equipment. Secondly, data will be accumulated and become useful information in each area, providing insights and optimization,” he said, stating that a deep understanding in science engineering is needed to accumulate data.

Whether it’s Alibaba, Microsoft, or Amazon’s IOT are universal platforms as they won’t understand the difference and meaning of turbines, photovoltaic panels, and inverters etc., nor can they understand how to marshal active survey points and inactive points, let alone the general definitions of breakdowns, EBA, TBA, and the management experience of the wind field from design, construction, operation and optimization.

Whether it’s to construct the framework for Energy OS, make connection standard for different devices, data models and data mining tools, as well as developing the SDK and API for developers, everything requires domain knowledge.

For example, Envision Energy has a database that include all the data of every turbine in the world and therefore connection is available for all models. On the Wind OS, Envision Energy has developed its application cluster that covers the design, monitor, KPI analysis, Performance Analysis etc.

The second largest renewable energy management software company in Europe BazeField the company acquired this year can also integrate the clusters of power loss analysis, malfunction alert, and generation forecast. Just like the iOS already has killer apps like Phone, Calendar, and Gallery ready on the system before opening App Store, Energy OS is already usable before its official launch.

What kind of ecological partners will join Energy OS in the future? “All commercial real estates, buildings, companies, factories and households can connect to Energy OS. With Energy OS companies can customize their own applications. The platform can also encourage the globe to help develop enterprise applications, so as to enable enterprises to manage the energy system efficiently,” Colin told TMTpost. “For example, consulting firms have their own knowledge in this particular industry, but without products there could be trouble.

So making their knowledge a product is something they can work on. Power software companies like NARI have strong development capacity and domain knowledge, and we can enable their teams to develop applications. There are many professional energy consumption management software developers in America and Europe. All of them can use Energy OS’s platform to serve the global renewable energy assets.”

Different from iOS and Android which are geared towards consumers, Energy OS serves platforms and developers, as well as serves as an executer of the plans it made for different enterprise clients. For example, Accenture with years of experience of management consulting in the energy sector and domain knowledge can use Energy OS to execute the plans it has come made for the clients. Envision Energy will provide customizable statement form tools to enable the executors to realize their customization.

This year, the cooperation project of Envision Energy and the government of Hong Kong on charge pile has adopted the Energy OS as the main platform. The company’s South American clients are also having test runs. Through the cooperation with Accenture, Energy OS’s global ecosystem continues to develop and mature.

Apollo Photovoltaic Power Plant Performance Analysis

Apollo Photovoltaic Power Plant Performance Analysis

From smart wind fields to green utopia

Envision Energy has been an active role in the value chain of the wind field power resource since the very beginning. “It’s like about 50% of the cost of a wind field. But in the past turbine makers didn't really have much participation in the design of the wind field and had little say on the formation of the wind field asset.” Li Heng said. How to identify risks; how to break open the value chain; how to make optimization the accumulation of technologies of systems; how to achieve batch delivery, these are the questions that Li Heng has been asking himself.

In Envision Energy’s perspective, these are not the problems of the projects, but the products. Reliance on the project managers should be lifted. By covering the ten major modules and three systems of the wind field life cycle, Envision Energy has truly make wind fields into products.

Wind field products can also bring up Envision Energy’s sales of turbines. “The statistics on the power generation of the wind fields are transparent and available publicly. Our wind fields have been the top ones every month. The result tells itself,” director Wang of Guangling Wind Field said.

As the first wind field product of Envision Energy, Guangling Wing Field is the first sample of smart wind field it established in the industry. In the past year, the wind field has been visited and checked out by the industry for 47 times, 70% of the time it was the vice presidents from the major five power groups. “We need to have central monitor as well,” this is their common thought after visiting the wind field.

“After this project became successful, our name went big in Shanxi province. It not only boosted turbine sales, but also brought us a lot of government support. Shanxi province actually becomes the biggest deal among our investments,” Li Heng felt truly excited for the effect Guangling Wind Field had brought forth.

When Envision Energy entered the photovoltaic sector in 2014, Envision Energy rolled out the Apollo Photovoltaic Cloud Platform and Apollo Grading. The cloud platform achieves functions such as power plant planning and design, construction, acceptance check, connection and monitor, maintenance and asset management, asset assessment and dealing etc., which digs deeper into pre-installation preparations such as resource assessment, risks assessment, and the asset assessment in the later period, making it truly a whole-industrial-chain manager.

Envision Energy has also invested to build its own distributed photovoltaic power plant in Jiangyin where the company can test out its solutions and technologies, from design, construction, operation management, and maintenance. All the data will be recorded by software, which makes it easy for management and systematic optimization. This power plant is in fact a living advertisement for Envision Energy that promotes the company to power plant owners and financial institutions that use Apollo.

“The right of management is more important than ownership,” Zhang Lei said, stating that Envision Energy is building a future digital energy company.

“In the future, we are not going to pursue ownership, but the right of management. However, this goldmine hasn't been dug out yet. So I will provide the equipment for mining gold first. When everybody has gold at their disposal, then it’s time for me to be the dealer.”

Envision Energy is not mere building the example of smart wind fields and smart photovoltaic power plants. Zhang Lei actually has another crazy idea, which is to build a utopia of energy, a green utopia, in the most mature renewable energy market. “Now I spend one week every month in Germany and Germany is actually the utopia that Envision Energy that aims to build. We hope to integrate all the innovative energy enterprises that have emerged in this country to push this green energy revolution forward,” Zhang Lei said.

In Envision Energy’s globalization blueprint, Germany is the mature renewable energy market that has entered the harvest season. Since the introduction of Renewable Energy Law in 2004, the proportion of renewable in Germany’s energy structure has been constantly rising. In 2015 renewable energy accounted for one third of the total power generation with its wind power increased by over 50% compared with 2014.

However, as the role model in the energy revolution, Germany is also making a brake for its endeavor in energy strategies. On June 8th, the German government has approved the reform draft of the Renewable Energy Law, which sets an annual limit for solar power and wind power, aiming to reduce over capacity; stop providing subsidy for newly-built wind power and solar power stations; gradually cancels the subsidy for green power accessing to the grid network; limits the expansion of on-shore wind power plants. The government in Germany has pouring lots of subsidies to encourage green energy and it has resulted in a sudden surge in green power, which the grid can’t absorb.

However, it doesn't necessarily mean absolute surplus of green energy, but more of a supply and demand matter. To solve this problem, the power grid has to be massively upgraded and new power storage technologies have to be developed. Furthermore, the means of energy Internet technologies can also make the supply adjust the generation in accordance with the demand.

From Zhang Lei’s perspective, the dilemma Germany is facing poses to be an opportunity for Envision Energy’s energy Internet. “The successes in Germany can also be applied in Italy or UK. A platform that has formed an ecosystem can be shared globally, bringing Germany’s energy storage companies to Italy, American charge pile network companies to Germany, and bringing big data companies to China.

The truth is, the technologies, products, and investment flow around the global community. Globalization means more depth. Every market has its opportunities and advantages. Some markets are undergoing a winter, some are in Spring, some are experiencing a hot summer, while some are witnessing a fall. The things you can harvest are very different. Globalization means you can mobilize global resources,” Zhang Lei said, telling TMTpost the global plan of Envision Energy.

From local area energy network to energy Internet

“What’s the core of industrial Internet? Industrial Internet is powered by energy and electricity, thus it actually exceeds Internet. When you are connected to the industrial Internet you can power up your device, but can you also optimize production and the supply chain?” In Zhang Lei’s vision, the energy Internet is something bigger than the industrial Internet. Starting with energy management, Envision Energy can go deeper into the integration of Internet in the industrial sector and plays an essential role.

When all the information on energy (generated, provided, stored and consumed through distributing) can be allocated real-time through the Internet and the e-cars, appliances, rooftop photovoltaic plants, computers and smart phones etc. are also part of this Internet, what it would be like? Is it possible that in the future everyone’s energy consume, emission, and life demands can be located and the energy can be sent directly to the user?

To make this future a reality, Envision Energy’s energy Internet still needs another essential piece, which is energy storage technologies, considered by Zhang Lei the crucial key. Power devices such as charge piles and household smart energy network like Nest are also part of the piece. Envision Energy has accumulated enough advantages in the power generation sector and therefore it might pour in investment in the power consuming sector.

“The energy Internet is still in its early stage where the intensity remains low and homogenization remains incredibly common. At present, everybody is marching towards the core. Everybody aims for the stars and wants to build a platform. The key sign that marks the formation of the future energy Internet is the emergence of a platform-level company.” From Zhang Lei’s perspective, the energy Internet sector is still in an early stage in which everyone is trying to the winner.

Internet and telecom giants naturally won’s miss out this feast that boasts trillions and have already engaged in the competition of data.

Alibaba has announced to establish cooperation with SunGrowPower, who is rival to Huawei in the inverter sector, to launch Smart Photovoltaic Cloud jointly. It’s said the project will include thousands of solar power plants to Aliyun. On the other hand, Tencent is also actively seeking the opportunity to partner with energy companies. As the only ICT provider in the Global Energy Interconnection Development & Cooperation Organization, Huawei is bringing end-to-end solutions to its clients in the electricity sector with its independently-developed PLC chip.

In the smart appliance sector, giants such as Apple, Google, Samsung and Amazon etc. are also in. To find this missing piece, then thoughts must be given into how to achieve communication between closed Internet of Things.

The post-90s renewable energy that Zhang Lei has been talking about is indeed rapidly changing the landscape of the energy structure. The Chinese government plans to make non-fossil energy and renewable energy account for 15% of the energy structure by 2020 and 20% by 2030, but in actual practice, renewable energy still lacks subsidies and traction.

Lin Boqiang, president of China Energy Policy Research Center, warned the industry not to overrate the power of energy interconnection: “When the demand is not increasing, the clean energy will definitely fight with traditional energy for market share. However, given the fact clean energy is usually in afar and unstable and more expensive and, it can hardly shake the dominance of traditional energy.

In this sense, the situation will only keep worsening.” Statistics from Pew Research Center also show that only 18% of people in China believe climate change is a serious problem, a big slump compared with the 41% in 2010.

Besides Germany and California, the U.S. and China are still far from the mature markets that Envision Energy seeks. So before these two major market become mature enough, it remains unknown how Envision Energy is going to further its operation in the global market, balance its development in every market, and how to fuse with other local area energy networks.


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[The article is published and edited with authorization from the author @Zhang Yuan, please note source and hyperlink when reproduce.]

Translated by Garrett Lee (Senior Translator at PAGE TO PAGE), working for TMTpost.




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