Digitalisation in wind and solar power technologies

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H.L. Kangas, K. Ollikka, J. Ahola, Y. Kim, Digitalisation in wind and solar power technologies, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 150, 2021, 111356, ISSN 1364-0321,

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Title: Digitalisation in wind and solar power technologies
Author: Kangas, Hanna-Liisa; Ollikka, K.; Ahola, J.; Kim, Y.
Publisher: Elsevier Science
Date: 2021
Language: en
Belongs to series: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 150: 111356
ISSN: 1364-0321
Abstract: Smart energy transition includes a widespread deployment of clean energy technologies and intelligent energy management with information and communication technologies (ICTs). In this paper, the smart energy transition is studied from the viewpoint of the technology convergence of renewable energy sources (RESs) and ICTs. Two important, fast-growing and weather-dependent renewable energy generation technologies: wind power and solar PV (photovoltaic) are studied. This paper provides technology convergence analyses of RES and ICT inventions based on international patent data. Digitalisation is changing the whole of society, and according to the results, this transition can also be seen in the studied renewable energy generation technologies. The digitalisation of RES production covers technologies that control, manage and optimise electricity production in different intelligent ways. Differences between wind power and solar PV technologies are found: in the case of wind power, the development from virtually no ICT solutions to partial technology convergence with the ICT sector is straightforward. However, in the case of solar PV, the development of basic technologies has been even faster than the development of the solar PV ICT solutions, which may indicate the immature nature of solar PV technologies during the studied years. The digitalisation of the renewable energy sector poses challenges for RES companies in following and predicting ICT development and opportunities for innovations and collaborations with ICT companies. This conclusion can also be expanded to society and policy levels because focusing on only a narrow field when planning innovation policy instruments can negatively impact the country's competitiveness.
Description: Highlights • Digitalisation and ICT solutions are impacting on wind power and solar PV technologies. • The prominent RES technologies with ICT solutions control, manage and optimise electricity production. • Wind power patent data shows a straightforward technology convergence trend with ICT. • Basic inventions in solar PV have increased more rapidly than solar PV ICT solutions. • Digitalisation in wind power and solar PV has been driven by the US, Germany, Denmark and Japan.
Subject: smart energy
renewable energy
technology convergence
wind power
solar power
United States
Subject (ysa): energiateknologia
uusiutuvat energialähteet

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