Shouldn’t Every Day be Earth Day?
Every April 22nd, people from across the world show their support for environmental protection and conservation by celebrating Earth Day. As we at Heila celebrate this important day, we are taking the chance to reflect on its significance as well as the mission that drives our innovation: to enable renewable and distributed energy resources (DERs) to become the pillars of a cleaner, more resilient, and more equitable electric grid.
Climate change and innovation are driving a technological revolution in the energy sector. If our energy infrastructure is going to be prepared to withstand the impacts of climate change, the way we generate and transmit energy has to change. Not only is the grid’s reliance on fossil fuels one of the main causes of global warming (with approximately 60% of the United States’ electricity supply coming from fossil fuels), but its centralized structure is incompatible with climate resilience and adaptation. Yet through the improved aggregation and control of clean DERs, we can decarbonize and decentralize our electricity infrastructure, change the way our society thinks about energy, and ultimately, fight climate change.
DER systems like microgrids are the clearest alternatives to centralized power generation. They can pave the way for higher levels of renewable energy penetration, which can not only lower carbon emissions and improve the reliability of our existing electricity system, but also help us become more resilient to outages in our communities. They operate in conjunction with centralized sources of power and can enable the spread of renewable energy by aggregating smaller distributed resources — such as solar panels or batteries — to power critical infrastructure and communities.
These systems could be key in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from our electricity systems, but until now, there has not been an easy or affordable way to grow DER systems to scale in harmony with the current grid. Heila was founded in 2015 to bridge this gap by creating the hardware and software tools needed to aggregate and control renewable-based DERs. When we leverage emergent intelligence through control and optimization solutions like ours, we can simplify even the most complex DER configurations so that they are deployed faster, cost less, and scale effortlessly. By enabling clean, cheap, and resilient power systems to rival current structures, we can transform a century’s worth of legacy infrastructure into something that can be helpful to both people and the environment.
The challenges posed by climate change can often seem insurmountable, but here at Heila, we are inspired to continue supporting a path towards more environmentally sustainable and resilient energy systems with our technology. We are proud to be driven by such an important mission and look forward to seeing the positive impacts that our innovations can make on society (and the climate) at large. With the advent of better renewable energy technologies, policies, and economic models around the world than ever, this Earth Day is one we are truly excited to celebrate.