Cummins Energy Leader Describes a Need for Clean Energy Worldwide

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Lisa Cohn, managing editor at Microgrid Knowledge, took a virtual seat with Ann-Kristin de Verdier, executive director of the energy management segment of Cummins, during Microgrid 2020 Global. Cohn and de Verdier discussed current trends and opportunities in the energy and microgrid market, including growth in renewables and drivers for microgrids.  

Cummins, a leader in engine design and manufacturing, serves its customers through a network of more than 500 distribution locations, some wholly owned, some independent. The company, which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary, has 8,000 dealers in more than 190 countries.

“So we are a truly global partner,” said de Verdier. 

As for what the company was focused on at Microgrid 2020 Global, de Verdier said Cummins was excited to be an event sponsor and to have an opportunity to discuss the global future of sustainability and renewable power solutions. 

The company also launched its new Power Command microgrid controllers at the event. 

“Designed and tested  to accommodate distributed generation architectures and with the ability to control renewable energy resources and energy storage, these new products are central in creating a completely integrated microgrid power system,” she said. 

Looking at current trends and opportunities in the energy market, the executive director explained that worldwide need exists for clean energy that is reliable and cost effective. 

Green incentives, even mandates, are increasingly used to foster the energy transition, and “renewables are taking a greater share in energy investment resources as we move towards decarbonization,” de Verdier said. 

She pointed out that while renewables help decrease our carbon footprint, they also cause greater volatility across power grids. 

“This leads to increased demand for grid balancing services and opportunities for customers to participate in new ways in energy markets,” de Verdier said. 

A good example? Microgrids. 

Microgrids also play an important role in off-grid applications — reducing carbon and other emissions as well as improving energy economics.

Cummins is trying to address these trends by integrating new energy technologies into solutions and business models. 

“A completely green microgrid may not be 100% reliable or cost effective in the near term, so at least for now microgrids will need a fossil fuel-based energy source, and we also understand that developing and delivering microgrid solutions require coordination across multiple parties. So having the right partnerships is another critical aspect of this,” de Verdier concluded. 

Relationships continue to form in the energy market as leading industry players explore the breadth and depth of solutions possible. 

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