Schneider Electric Is Helping Reduce Emissions At Home & At The Power Plant

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Earlier this month, Schneider Electric put out two press releases that show that it is working on two very important aspects of climate change. In one announcement, the company revealed a big win with its products that can help reduce energy use at home, and in the other, it announced an effort to help reduce emissions from electric generation.

Reducing Power Consumption At Home

Schneider Electric, a company that prides itself on being the global specialist in energy management and automation, has recently announced that its Wiser Gateway and Wiser Smart Plug are now Matter certified. This certification means that Schneider Electric’s products are among the first group of products in the world to be recognized by this standards organization. With this certification under its belt, Schneider Electric is one step closer to having a complete home energy management offering for its customers.

Matter is the new unified interoperability protocol that connects compatible smart home devices and systems from different brands with one another. Matter ensures that these connections are secure, reliable, and easy to use.

The Wiser Gateway and the small but essential Wiser Smart Plug are the first two products from Schneider Electric’s holistic Home Energy Management system (HEMS) solution to integrate the Matter Standard. The Gateway is the central communication interface for the wider Wiser ecosystem, while the transmitter is responsible for HEMS network operations.The company’s development of home energy management systems helps it establish itself as a leader in reducing costs and residential carbon dioxide emissions without sacrificing comfort. Given the threat of climate change, net zero targets can only be reached if we make our home energy usage as efficient as possible.

Schneider Electric has been a pioneer of interoperable devices, homes, and buildings for many years as a board member of the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) and one of the founders of the Matter standard. By integrating Matter-compliant products with home energy management solutions such as renewable energy generation and storage, EV charging, and major home energy loads, Schneider Electric is able to expand its HEMS ecosystem offerings significantly to provide more efficient and sustainable homes for everyone in the future.

In recent years, the average homeowner has become more conscientious of their environmental impact. According to a study done by Schneider Electric, 54% of consumers believe that they can save on energy bills by using smart technology around their home to manage energy usage.

“As a global specialist in energy management and automation, our purpose is to empower everyone to make the most of our energy and resources, bridging progress and sustainability. Facing global threat of climate change, we aspire to make our homes more sustainable and energy efficient.” said YiFu Qi, Executive Vice President, Home & Distribution Division, Schneider Electric. “To do so, we believe open standards, technology and interoperability of connected products are essential. We are honored and proud to partner with local and global companies to rethink the future of connectivity and interoperability.”

Cleaning Up Power Plant Emissions

Schneider Electric doesn’t just do things to help us small fries reduce our emissions. Its other announcement shows us that they’re doing things at all levels.

The company announced its Repowering Coal partnership with TerraPraxis, a nonprofit organization that focuses on designing and accelerating scalable solutions for climate change. Schneider Electric’s commitment to sustainability matches TerraPraxis’ goal of helping coal plant owners and investors quickly, affordably, and repeatedly convert the world’s biggest source of carbon emissions — coal-fired power plants — to emission-free heat sources.

“As part of this pivotal moment to reach net-zero, we’re proud to partner with TerraPraxis to help transition one of the world’s largest sources of carbon (coal) to zero emissions,” said Gary Lawrence, Power and Grid Segment President at Schneider Electric. “As a company deeply invested in this space, we understand the technology and players needed to evoke change, along with the economic and societal impacts of decarbonization. We believe that electrification and digitization are key to accelerate economic growth and provide immediate, sustainable solutions for customers.”

Schneider Electric and TerraPraxis have partnered up to provide support for the decarbonization of coal power plants by 2050. They will do so by delivering standardized physical system designs and project applications to plant owners and investors starting in 2025. It is estimated that hundreds of plants will need to be repowered with carbon-free energy annually starting from 2025 onwards.

Schneider Electric plans to use its already-existing innovative technology and worldwide manufacturing to deliver new,proven technologies. These will help TerraPraxis lower customer costs by creating more agile plants that can be built faster. The convergence of energy management, automation systems, industrial software, cloud computing, etc., along with the power of AI brings innovations like digital twin technology. This transition can happen quickly and on a large scale.

“We are excited to work with leaders like Schneider Electric to make repowering coal plants with a new generation of emission-free heat sources like SMRs (small modular reactors) a mainstream solution to one of the most intractable decarbonization challenges. The current delivery model for new power plants is too risky, too expensive and too slow to achieve the scale and speed of transformation required. Through this partnership with Schneider Electric, we will apply leading-edge digital capability to transform the customer experience, enabling coal plant owners and investors to make confident investment decisions to transform these plants into emissions-free generators for decades to come,” said Eric Ingersoll, Founder and Managing Director of TerraPraxis.

TerraPraxis’ strategic partnership with Schneider Electric will help develop and deploy a set of tools to automate the design and regulatory approval process for decarbonizing coal facilities with nuclear power. This builds upon its existing collaboration with Microsoft.

The ‘EVALUATE’ application is set to launch at the 27th UN Conference of the Parties on climate in Egypt. This app was designed to help coal plant owners worldwide, as well as potential investors, evaluate the repowering process for their own coal plants. The entire upgrade cost for emissions-free operation is $2,000/kWe with a project duration that should not exceed 5 years.

Featured image by Schneider Electric.

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Jennifer Sensiba

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.

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