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Yokogawa executive: Three must-haves for renewables to succeed

Yasuki Tsukahara, the director and managing executive officer for Yokogawa Solution Service Co. Ltd., reflects on the complex and data-intensive path we must take to reach a renewably powered world.  

After 35 years with Yokogawa, Yasuki Tsukahara has had many careers within the company. It began by supporting business development for international oil companies and it led to his position today, helping to build solutions for industrial automation, as well as testing and measurement solutions, around the world. Currently his focus is on delivering solutions to help the renewables industry succeed.

“Yokogawa aims to make major contributions to realizing decarbonization across society,” Tsukahara said. To do so, the company believes that its support is best directed at helping the power and utilities providers maximize their use of cleaner, greener energy sources, a task that’s easier said than done. The primary challenge is the variability of these natural energy sources, as power is only generated when the wind blows or the sun shines. This intermittency requires a back-up – a need that Yokogawa is actively addressing.

In Yokogawa’s mission to support a world powered by renewables, Tsukahara outlines three must-haves to make renewables a more viable option for power providers.

1. Combine renewable power with a battery back-up

YT: Due to the instability of solar and wind power, it’s important to use these energy sources in combination with storage batteries and to cooperate with existing power generation facilities. At Yokogawa, we specialize in providing monitoring and control systems to power plants, and by combining technology and industry experience, we believe that we can help bring more renewable power to these facilities.

2. Get as much as you can out of power storage 

YT: Renewable energy sources become stable power sources when combined with storage batteries. However, the cost of these batteries is very high, so we must maximize their capacity. We do this through our own algorithm that measures the battery capacity in real-time and optimizes their use – ensuring top performance.

3. Collect data in real-time and make use of a high-capacity platform

YT: Power facilities drawing on multiple sources, whether wind, sun, or battery, will require the coordination of vast amounts of data. It’s necessary to collect and connect this information and data in real-time from all sources – such as the operating status of existing power facilities, information on the storage batteries, and weather information for demand forecasting. And this will result in an enormous volume of data, which requires a high speed, high-capacity platform to process it in real-time.

Reaching entire regions with renewables will be a complex and data intensive operation, requiring the right technological solutions

To realize the shared vision of a carbon-free, renewably powered world, massive transformation is required on the power plant side. These facilities represent critical infrastructure that can’t afford interruption. Tsukahara says that’s because of the essential nature of this industry that Yokogawa is committed to ensuring stable, secure and safe operations worldwide through their solutions – ultimately stimulating a carbon free energy industry.

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