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Transforming the world’s largest and most dynamic power market
Anders Sjoelin appointed Regional Manager for ABB Power Grids in North America and Country Managing Director (CMD) for the United States.
As Anders Sjoelin assumes his new role as the Regional Manager for ABB Power Grids in North America, he is reflecting on the enormous changes that have taken place since the start of the previous decade. The power transmission and distribution environment in 2020 is very different from the one in which we operated 10 years ago, and the pace of change has been pretty astounding.
Back in 2010, the percentage of renewable energy sources contributing to the U.S. electrical grid was around 8 percent; in 2019 the figure was north of 20 percent. A decade ago, the complete decarbonization of power grids was an idea debated at conferences and discussed in papers; today, many utilities have made commitments to invest into renewable energy sources and infrastructure and are actively engaged in pursuing this strategy. The electrification of many areas of society, particularly the transition to electric vehicles, is now regarded as a foregone conclusion; a decade ago the first fully electric, mass-market passenger cars were just being introduced to the market.
These developments all signal a broad, societal commitment to sustainability, guided by a recognition of threats posed by climate change. The transformation of the grid to accommodate these moves is now well underway and is certain to accelerate here in North America. Why? In addition to the region being home to the world’s largest energy market, North America also has unique resources in terms of the mix of wind, solar and hydro.
With more than 15 years of experience working with customers throughout North America, Anders has a unique perspective on the challenges this transformation presents, how customers in North America are navigating (and driving) this shift, and how ABB Power Grids is ideally positioned to be a trusted partner to provide the solutions they need to make their grid infrastructure stronger, smarter and more sustainable.
“In my experience, utilities in North America are really at the forefront of many of the big trends we are seeing in terms of sustainability and decarbonization,” Sjoelin said. “I see how our customers continue to focus on modernizing their grid and redirecting their investments to support and prepare for the ongoing grid transformation. We see an enormous shift underway from traditional, coal-powered plants toward more distributed and renewable resources. These investments help build more resilient and reliable grids and provide options for local communities and residents to benefit from a more diverse power generation mix, including renewable energy sources.”
“We have a strong passion for solving customer problems,” Sjoelin added. “We are a truly local partner, with an expansive presence in North America to address the full range of customer needs. It’s really a perfect set up between local presence, world-class expertise and the industry’s strongest portfolio.”
Of course, being a local partner is more than just providing innovative products and services. It’s also about being a good neighbor and a good citizen. Which is why ABB Power Grids places such a strong emphasis on promoting innovation from the ground up, starting with kids. The company, and Sjoelin personally, maintain a major focus on promoting STEM education.
Part of that commitment is through a long-standing partnership with the North Carolina State University, one of the country’s top engineering schools, and the home of ABB Power Grids’ North American headquarters.
However, the company’s efforts extend beyond the campus, into the broader community in and around major company locations, and in fact to the many communities throughout the region where we operate.
“We take pride in our strong, local footprint, and want to be the partner of choice to drive the coming transformation,” Sjoelin said. “It’s not just about serving our utility customers, but also about working with the full range of stakeholders to address the challenge of de-carbonization, which is one of the central challenges of our time.”