Podcast: How 'Everything As a Grid' Defines Our New Energy Future

Mike Longman, SVP of global product lines, strategy and business development at Eaton, shares his insight on the energy transition and Eaton's approach to a low carbon energy future.
Apr 13, 2022 10:30 AM ET

10 In 10 Podcast

Key takeaways:

  • Energy transition covers three macro trends, including an increase in the electrification of buildings and transport, a major shift in the fuel source that creates electricity, and a shift in the structure of electricity generation, particularly distributed energy resources.
  • Everything is a grid is Eaton’s way of saying that many different stakeholders will play a role in generating, balancing, storing and distributing electricity -- all activities historically done by utilities.
  • Bidirectional energy flow can aid utilities in avoiding significant capital investments and allows them to tap into the capacity and the capability of distributed generation, or energy storage resources, owned by customers.
  • Ideally, the savings incurred by the utilities can be passed on to commercial, residential or industrial customers who are looking for ways to offset their own investment.
  • With a more complex energy system, safety assurance is critical and companies like Eaton are developing technologies that can help.
  • Renewables, such as wind and solar, at any scale present unique challenges because of their intermittent nature, however, the everything is a grid approach helps create a balance.
  • Democratization of power is the idea that individuals and facilities will have the ability to generate and store their own power and be linked back to the grid.
  • Facilities have the biggest opportunity to achieve continuity of operational resilience, because as they invest in that on-site generation, they can then apply that back to the grid and use that to get paid for and help offset the cost.
  • Utilities are central to the Everything as a Grid model. They are creating programs that help foster the adoption of distributed energy resources and renewables and are focused on adding expertise in electric vehicle charging, microgrid technology and virtual power plants.
  • Data centers have the opportunity to tap into their power reserves by implementing technologies like Eaton’s EnergyAware UPS uninterruptible power supply.
  • Deployment of distributed energy resources can help manufacturing facilities avoid charges associated with peak usage and they can avoid costs connected to downtime if they have disruptions.
  • By 2030, we expect installed storage to increase 13 times.
  • By 2035, an estimated 50% of all electricity worldwide will be generated by renewables.
  • In most markets, the traditional grid will continue to be a central source of power generation, but you may see a series of connected microgrids.
  • In more mature markets, it's possible that the traditional grid may become a backup source of electricity supply to more decentralized generation.

To learn more about how we're supporting a low-carbon energy future, visit Eaton.com/EnergyTransition.

Guest bio

Mike Longman is senior vice president, Global Product lines, Strategy and Business Development. Named to this role in July 2019, Longman has overall responsibility for the Electrical Sector’s global product lines and overall business development strategy.

Immediately prior to his current role, Longman was senior vice president and general manager, Residential Products and Wiring Devices in the Americas, where he was responsible for all aspects of Eaton’s circuit protection and electrical connectivity solutions business for residential markets in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Central America.

Before that, Longman served as the senior vice president and general manager of the Power Quality and Electronics Division, Electrical Sector, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

He joined Eaton in 2002 as the vice president, Global Sales and Solutions, Performance Power Solutions, and has since held roles including senior vice president, Marketing, Electrical Sector; vice president, Strategy and Business Development, Electrical Sector; and commercial integration lead, Moeller.

Prior to joining Eaton, partner at McKinsey & Company, a leading global consulting firm, where he was a consultant for 14 years and co-led the firm’s Business-to-Business marketing practice in North America.

Longman holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a bachelor's degree in Applied Math and Economics from Brown University, Rhode Island where he graduated magna cum laude.