Renewables generation is now a significant factor in many of the most important global energy markets. Not only does it have an effect on the total generation capacity, it also affects investment decisions for new generation and grid facilities. This potential for a higher volatility in the generation market has resulted in strong growth in the diversity of renewables data that companies require; a demand driven by the unpredictable nature of this generation capacity. This importance was driven home this past week when Germany announced that it was planning on investing $263 billion dollars in offshore wind farms to replace the generation lost by shutting down its nuclear facilities. The implications of this will reach far beyond the borders of Germany and looks like a balancing act between Russian gas, Northern European wind and French nukes. Not an easy balance to be sure and one that will certainly put a strain on the management capabilities of many European utilities and trading companies.
And Germany is not the only major economy to make a serious investment in renewables. The countries with the largest investment in renewables technology in 2011 were the U.S. at $48 billion, and China at $45 billion. In fact, between 2004 and 2011, over a trillion dollars was invested in clean energy globally. While this has certainly made the generation profile cleaner, it has greatly added to the complexity of both the infrastructure and information that must be managed. For this reason, ZEMA, as an energy and commodity market data management system, plays an integral and growing role in many companies, helping them to assess this systematic risk. Its ability to automate the management and analysis of disparate internal and market data, as well as the ease with which it is able to integrate with other systems makes it an obvious choice for companies struggling to manage this growing complexity manually, or with in-house systems.
The story does not end with wind either, as solar power, though only a small percentage of the overall generation capacity, will play a significant role in several important markets: particularly California. How the big three will manage this half day generation and still meet their mandated renewable energy limits of 30% is still to be seen, but a tool that can help them is obvious.
For more information about ZEMA and how it can help your company manage energy and commodity market data, please visit our website at www.ze.com.